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Petroleum Addiction

What is petroleum?
Petroleum is formed from microscopic organisms like tiny plants, animals, zooplankton, and sea plankton, which accumulate at the bottom of lakes and oceans. The organic matter which contains an abundance of hydrogen and carbon becomes buried under numerous layers of clay, sand, and dirt. The countless layers of soil cause an extreme amount of heat and pressure to be placed on the organic matter. It takes this intense heat and pressure millions of years to convert the organic matter into hydrocarbons and then into petroleum.

It sounds really gross
It is really gross, but if left in the ground it is pretty much harmless and you'd never have to deal with it. It's when it's taken out of the ground and used that it becomes a problem.

What kind of problem?
Well lots of different kinds.
There's a huge amount of pollution and environmental devastation during production, transport, processing, distribution, and use of petroleum products.
In addition to the cancers and other health problems directly caused by petroleum, there are less obvious health effects, including weight and cardiovascular problems caused by car-dependence.
Along with environmental devastation, oil companies bring corruption, wage labor, the destruction of traditional cultures, and other social ills to societies all over the world..

Most products we use today have some petroleum either in them or used in the manufacturing process. In most cases this is not because they can't be made without oil.

What can I do about it?
As with any addiction, the first step towards recovery is to admit to yourself that you have a problem. It's important that we do this as individuals, but even more important that we do it as a society.
As an individual one step you can take is to eliminate or c
ut down on car use. Not everyone can get rid of their cars, but if you can, do. Many cities now have car-share programs for people who only need a car occasionally. Two-thirds of the nation's oil is used in transportation, and 40 percent of that fuels passenger cars. For information on how to free yourself and your community from car addiction, visit our partners at CarBusters.
Work to help your family, friends, and communities
to admit that they have an oil problem, and to understand the connections between Petroleum and Terrorrism.

Read about the Never-Ending Oil Spill.

Learn The Signs of Petroleum Addiction

A list of just a few of the things that are currently made from petroleum:

• bags (garbage bags, shopping bags)
• balloons
• bandaids
• candles
• clothing (polyester, nylon)
• combs
• computers, calculators
• crayons
• credit cards
• dishwashing liquids
• disposable diapers
• eye glasses, sunglasses
• fertilizers
• fishing rods
• flooring (linoleum, tiles, carpets)
• garden hose
• hand lotion, cream, petroleum jelly
• helmets (bicycle, hockey, etc.)
• heart valves
• helmets (bicycle, hockey, etc.)
• insect repellent
• insecticides
• life jackets
• milk jugs

• paint brushes
• panty hose
• parachutes
• patio furniture
• pens
• perfume
• rope (nylon)
• safety glass
• shampoo
• shower curtains, shower doors
• soft contact lenses
• soft drink bottles, plastic bottles
• tape (clear, masking, etc.)
• tapes - cassettes, vcr tapes
• telephones
• tennis rackets
• tents
• toys, dolls, model cars
• tires (synthetic rubber)
• toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes
• trash bags
• tv cabinets
• umbrellas
• unbreakable dishes
• waterproof jackets, boots, pants

Learn more about the risks of substance abuse

Sponsored by The National Youth Anti-Corporate Media Campaign