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  • Slartibartfarst

    I read the HealthPost blog in the expectation that it might be able to keep me better-informed about healthcare products than I might otherwise be. However, as a scientist and a keen environmentalist, I experienced a major disconnect on reading the item “Say “NO” to Petroleum”, which would seem to be at odds with the facts.
    Wikipedia has a lot of info about petroleum jelly – e.g., on “Medicl trreatment”, “Skin and hair care”, and “Production processes”. It’s an incredibly useful petroleum product with a wide area of applications. For example, here’s what Wikipedia his to say about petroleum jelly in medical treatment:
    Medical treatment
    Vaseline brand First Aid Petroleum Jelly, or carbolated petroleum jelly containing phenol to give the jelly additional antibacterial effect, has been discontinued. During World War II, a variety of petroleum jelly called red veterinary petrolatum, or Red Vet Pet for short, was often included in life raft survival kits. Acting as a sunscreen, it provides protection against ultraviolet rays.[6]

    The American Academy of Dermatology recommends keeping skin injuries moist with petroleum jelly to reduce scarring.[7] A verified medicinal use is to protect and prevent moisture loss of the skin of a patient in the initial post-operative period following laser skin resurfacing.[8][9]

    There is one case report published in 1994 indicating petroleum jelly should not be applied to the inside of the nose due to the risk of lipid pneumonia, but this was only ever reported in one patient.[10] However, petroleum jelly is used extensively by otolaryngologists—ear, nose, and throat surgeons—for nasal moisture and epistaxis treatment, and to combat nasal crusting. Large studies have assessed petroleum jelly applied to the nose for short durations to have no significant side effects.[11][12][13]

    Historically, it was also consumed for internal use and even promoted as “Vaseline confection”.[14][15]
    Copied from: Petroleum jelly – Wikipedia –

    Hope this helps or is of use.

    • Hello Slartibarfarst, thank you for your comment.

      Our article is based off facts and scientific studies. Petroleum does protect against moisture loss, but it does not add moisture to the skin. We have not said that it doesn’t have other uses such as lubrication for surgeries, or treatments. However, it would be extremely irresponsible to recommend petroleum jelly as a sunscreen.

      Due to its potential negative health effects and its environmental effects, petroleum is on our red list. For those interested in natural health, there are much better natural alternatives.

      • Slartibartfarst

        Hello Mod, thanks for the response.
        I think I see where you are coming from.
        Your sources for “facts and scientific studies” are probably different to my sources. In truth, I don’t have an “opinion” on PJ (Petroleum Jelly), it is just that I was surprised by the seeming absolutism of the blog post. My comment (above) was based solely on:
        (a) My understanding of the relative harmless and beneficial nature and application of petroleum jelly. (Also used it as part of standard Fist Aid with self and other adults and umpteen children, with zero ill-effects.)

        (b) A check/confirmation to update my understanding (in case I was missing something important/new!) via Wikipedia at (the link I gave above seems to have been mangled by your system’s spam control).. Conclusion PJ is harmless to people and the environment, so use it as and when it can be useful. Just because it’s a petroleum-based product doesn’t necessarily mean that it is evil, by definition. Plastic is a petroleum-based product and most/all the various products I buy from the excellent HealthPost store seem to come in containers/wrappers made of plastic (though personally I’d prefer glass wherever possible, for environmental and sustainability reasons, though that would probably put the price up, so no go).

        (c) My recollection of a paper from 2009 – a survey of toxicologists at “Survey Shows How Experts View Risks of Common Chemicals”, which looks at the perceived reliability of claims that this or that are poisoning us.

        The survey is documented in a .PDF file and can be downloaded from Wayback if you tell it to check the Archive for “ Chemicals PRESS RELEASE.pdf”
        (Report title: “ARE CHEMICALS KILLING US?” – Survey Shows How Experts View Risks of Common Chemicals.)

        It’s quite an interesting survey, and includes mention of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) you refer to, as well as other groups. The EWG organisation apparently does not seem to be an authority on the science/study of toxins per se, but rather seems to be a self-styled non-profit activist/lobby group. (Is that correct?)
        If you are unable to use Wayback to get a copy of the report for yourself, I could put a copy up for you to access.

        Happy days!

        • donna

          thank you for this information slartibartfarst.