Vaseline and Cancer

     Vaseline is a wide known product that is used to keep dry lips moisturized. One of the biggest ingredients in vaseline is petroleum. Petroleum is a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons that is present in suitable rock strata and can be extracted and refined to produce different fuels, such as: gasoline, kerosene, and heating oil. Plastic and vaseline also contain petroleum. Well, according to health-report.co.uk, “Impurities in Petroleum Jelly or commonly known as Vaseline, are under suspicion as a carcinogen in Breast Cancer – Petrolatum Banned in products in the EU – Long term damage to health becoming evident – side effects from impurities in the manufacturing process implicated in causing cancer”. There also has been a study done on cancer incidences of workers in the Swedish petroleum industry. There, scientists found that operators at Swedish refineries had an increased risk of leukemia due to a possible exposure to benzene (a colorless volatile liquid hydrocarbon, C6H6, present in coal, tar and petroleum).


      Vaseline is linked to petroleum impurity (PAH) and breast cancer because agencies allow any amount of petroleum of any purity in personal care products; many of which are applied directly to the lips (vaseline) and swallowed. Although there isn’t an extremely well-known link between petroleum and cancer, there have been studies that obviously arise a lot of skepticism on the safety of using products containing petroleum. In most cases, a consumer buying a product containing petroleum has no way to know if the ingredients are low in carcinogenic PAH’s or not. So, be careful, and look at the list of ingredients on your lip product or other products to see if petroleum is an ingredient. Maybe staying away from vaseline would be safe too.

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6 thoughts on “Vaseline and Cancer

  1. JENNY TAI

    Interesting article! I have searched on the web and have yet to find hardcore evidence that Vaseline could be bad or cause cancer. But there are many positive traits that I found!. Vaseline is known to be the “hero” of winter. The season of winter tends to be very dry because cold air isn’t good at holding moisture (which is also why when it rains or snows it becomes warm), and Vaseline helps with that dry-skin-during-winter problem. It can remove makeup as well as makeup stains on clothing. Other uses of Vaseline can be seen here .
    Something that is similar to Vaseline that is known to be harmful for the skin is scented lotions! Even though the names of these lotions may sound exotic, such as Sun-kissed strawberry and blueberry bliss, they actually include many chemical additives to make these sweet smells, and they’re actually known to be toxic! A popular chemical used in scented lotions is called diazolidinyl urea, which releases carcinogens which are known to actually cause cancer.

  2. JOSEPH THOMAS SCHMIDT

    Cancer is not even arguably the worse disease that is out there today and ever matter to prevent it should be taken seriously, but at what point are we over reacting? I understand that everyone, including myself, has been affected by cancer in some way. My roomate cooks often in the microwave late at night after work. Should I get out of bed and leave the room because of this so I can prevent getting cancer? I would say no, some may. I will continue to use vaseline until there is a greater confirmation on a major causation of cancer.

  3. ALSTON SHIELDS

    I tend to agree with Hayley on this one. In the early ’90s I read an article about a college student who was acquiring signatures for a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide. The basis for the argument was that this substance was found in cancerous tumors and thus must be a cause of it. Of course the student knew what dihydrogen monoxide was it was just a joke to prove a point that people will sign anything when faced with shocking evidence. If you live long enough you will get some form of cancer its just a fact of life. I would say you have a far greater chance of getting cancer from other things TV’s, Computer Screens, food preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Enjoy life and relax a bit We’re all going to die eventually.

    By the way dihydrogen monoxide is water 🙂

    dihydrogen monoxide hoax
    Seems I was wrong on who did the petition. It was a 14 year old boy, but you get the picture.

  4. KELSEY J LESSER

    This article is shocking to me because I’ve been using vaseline since I was younger. My mom has always put it on our lips/nose when we’ve had chapped lips or dry skin from a cold. She’s also a nurse so I don’t know that she’d use anything on us that could put us at risk for cancer. I agree with Hayley’s comment that people try to link everything in this life to cancer so I’m not going to stop using vaseline due to a small bit of research. Vaseline is the least of our worries when it comes to cancer causing things. I even found an article saying that vaseline could possibly be the secret to keeping your face looking young. So I would hope that they come up with some better research about this topic.

    http://www.beautylish.com/a/vcyvn/is-vaseline-the-secret-to-ageless-skin

  5. DANIEL RYAN PICCIURRO

    I agree with Hayley on this issue for several reasons. First, almost every product produced has been linked to causing cancer at one point in time. I believe in evidence and if there is none present, then an assumption should not be made about its outcome or effect on people. Vaseline is a common good that is used by countless people around the world. Obviously there’s a chance for it be toxic and able to cause cancer, but until there’s any science backing it up with prolific scientists supporting it, I will continue to use Vaseline on cracked and dry skin.

  6. HAYLEY LAUREN GELLER

    In my opinion, people say that everything is linked to causing cancer in some way shape or form. Unless clinically proven true, I don’t think that we should necessarily stay away from things that “cause cancer”. I am not saying that petroleum is not linked to breast cancer because I am clearly not a scientist but I think that staying away from everything that contains petroleum is drastic.

    People use vaseline on their lips because it makes them not chapped and helps cold sores not come about. Vaseline is definitely something you could live without but for some people it is something they use everyday. If people stayed clear of everything that potentially could cause cancer then they would be living in an empty box.

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