Petroleum Is Everywhere ... Including Your Shower

Chemicals touch on every aspect of modern life
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2010 5:17 AM CDT
The Transocean Discoverer Enterprise burns off some natural gas as it takes on oil from the broken BP wellhead at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, June 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

(Newser) – Before you vow to exact revenge for the BP oil catastrophe by swearing off petroleum, take a look around: It's everywhere. Not just in the gas tank of your car, but all over the car, in your closet, in your kitchen, even in your shower. "A bottle of shampoo is about 100% chemistry," a rep for a chemical industry trade group tells the AP. In short, if it's plastic, it most likely contains petrochemicals.

"Just about anything that's not iron or steel or metal of some sort has some petrochemical component," says a chemistry professor. Petrochemicals are even in your bloodstream, and scientists don't have a firm grasp on the long-term implications. "What we're discovering is that there's a whole world of low-dose (health) effects," says another chemistry professor. The materials "accumulate in the human body, they persist in the environment."

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