Health workers are urging patients to avoid the use of all types of olive oils for skin care because the chemicals in the oils are known to be carcinogenic.
But, as a precautionary measure, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has published guidelines for olive oil products, including sunflower oil and sunflower seed oil.
AMA says that the use and processing of olive and sunflowers can be a potential carcinogen but recommends people to only use oils that are certified by the AMA as safe to use.
But that doesn’t mean the AMA is completely against olive oil, saying in a statement to ABC Radio that it is important to know which oils are safe to consume.
“Although some oils are marketed as being safe to eat, this does not necessarily mean that all oils are good for you,” AMA chief executive officer Dr Mark McCreery said.
He said the AMA had “serious concerns” about some oils.
The AMA has urged the Victorian Government to review the industry guidelines for sunflower and sunseed oil.
“As an industry, we are committed to being open and transparent with the public, so as a result we have revised our guidelines to make sure the industry is taking appropriate steps to protect the public,” Mr McCreary said.
“This update to our guidance is based on the recommendations of the Victorian Cancer Council, and the Victorian Department of Health.”
The Victorian Cancer Commission has also advised against the use olive oil for all skin care products.
“We would urge anyone who has been using an oil to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water,” the commission said in a media release.
“Also avoid using olive oil in the shower, as it may have a high concentration of sulphuric acid, which can cause irritation and other health problems.”
The Victorian Government has asked consumers to follow the advice of the Victoria Cancer Commission and contact their doctor if they are concerned about the use or processing of any of these oils.
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