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Why is petroleum bad?

  • 3 min read

Why is petroleum bad for the environment?

Petroleum oil has been used in cleaning products for a long time due to their versatility. However, as you may have heard, these types of oils are not very nice, to say the least. Here at Spruce, our refillable cleaning products show that you don’t need harmful oils to get a spotless home. So why is oil bad for the environment and our health, you might ask? Have a read and find out. 
Petroleum oil is a harmful ingredient for the planet. And has long been used in cleaning products, such as petroleum-based solvents and laundry pods that contain MEA-Palm Kernelate. It is also both big factors in climate change. 

What exactly is petroleum? 

Petroleum, which means rock oil, is; a mixture of hydrocarbons (hydrocarbon is an amalgam of hydrogen and carbon) made up of those that occur on Earth, such as liquid, gaseous or solid form. Petroleum in its natural form is known as crude oil. It is a fossil fuel and non-renewable energy. Petroleum has become a big part of the modern world, the WWF states that petroleum accounts for 90% of the world’s transportation requirements. We use it for fuel oils for heating and generating electricity, asphalt and road oil and transportation fuels. It is also used to make chemicals, plastics and synthetic materials. 

As petroleum is a fossil fuel, when it is burnt, it releases high quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The Guardian in 2020 reported that human fossil fuel methane emissions have been underestimated by up to 40%. Petroleum is usually sourced from rock which is layers deep underground and under the seafloor. Oil drilling is extremely bad for the environment, a few things it can cause are; disrupting wildlife causes oil spills which cause the death of animals, ruins wildlands, produces dangerous emissions and causes air pollution. Air pollution can cause significant health problems for citizens, including respiratory problems and diseases such as cardiovascular. 

And considering the most recent world developments, without our reliance on oil, it would have been less likely for the conflict to occur. The climate emergency and, the increasing political instability in the world are directly caused by our dependency on oil. With thousands of wildlife, natural habitats and people being directly impacted by it, do we need a better reason to shift to renewable energy? 

Petroleum distillates health effects 

Petroleum-based solvents are used in cleaning because they dissolve things like grease and oil very quickly. However, petroleum is a toxic chemical and not only harms the environment, but also human health. Exposure to petroleum-based products can cause different health effects, depending on the length of exposure and the concentration of petroleum in the product. If inhaled, it can cause respiratory irritation, as well as headaches and nausea. If it comes into contact with the skin, it can cause quite severe irritation.

We hope this answers why oil is bad for the environment, animals and communications. At Spruce, we don't use any petroleum or palm oil in our refillable cleaning products. Our eternity bottles are made out of aluminium and they last a lifetime. Our refill packets are biodegradable and contain all-natural, non-toxic ingredients - that are good for your health and good for your home.


Written By Zara Huxley 

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