Saturday, June 30, 2012

Current Mineral Oil Safety Links 2012

This information is in response to blog email inquiries about mineral oil safety. I have moved it to become a post on its own.

I followed the recent concerns about food contamination and mineral oils back to where they began. I prefer to be as thorough as possible in finding and providing information, that you as blog readers can read for yourselves, not just my interpretation and summary of it. There has not been any mention I have seen anywhere of cosmetic mineral oil or laxative mineral oil use coming under new scrutiny, since the food contamination issues were raised, nor concerns about the oil being used to condition and protect wooden cutting boards or wooden utensils. USP/BP mineral oil use as a laxative has cautions on the bottles regarding recommended amounts and length of time for use. You can also discuss its use with your pharmacist.

If any of that changes, I will be updating about it here. It is unlikely to happen. Topically, cosmetic mineral oil cannot deeply penetrate hair or skin. Toxicity issues are strictly regulated. The newest arthritis research study linked below, even with a qualification or exclusion to be precise, does not find USP/BP or cosmetic mineral oil to be a health risk. 

The first link is dated after the food contamination issues were raised, although they are not addressed in it. However, it does deal with purity and safety issues for cosmetic USP/BP mineral oil and it is clear and well written, with references. If the safety of baby oil for example were to be questioned because of the food issues, that would make headlines online and in print and that has not happened. No such changes have been made to mineral oil laxative use information on websites I trust, like the Mayo Clinic and others I consider as good.

While I am thrilled with my cosmetic use of mineral oil and I know of plenty of others who are as well, I still put safety first as a priority when recommending anything for others to think about using and I back up what I have to say with reputable information, that is as current as possible too. I have no vested interest in cosmetic mineral oil, just a very pleased and still amazed response to how great it can be. The mineral oils in question appear to be mostly from use in industrial applications and there are questions that need to be more thoroughly answered, regarding their safety and food contact.  


The safety of cosmetic mineral oil USP/BP, which includes laxative use and use on cutting boards and wooden utensils is not in question. 
Cutting board use: The link below has good resources to check out. I have checked out individual vegetable oils recommended for use on wooden cutting boards and the rancidity information matches the information here. Walnut oil can turn rancid too, in spite of claims to the contrary on some websites. Mineral oil used on cutting boards is recommended to be reapplied at an appropriate time, when indicated.
This study evaluated the shelf life of several food oils, including walnut oil. 
Food contamination issues are under review and the sources of the contamination are in question.