|Introduction to Parabens:|
Paraben is a chemical commonly used in everything from household products to make up. It is also know by other names such as: esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid, benzylparaben, isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, n-Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben. It is true that some parabens are found in nature, in very small quantities, but this has not significantly impacted any of us, until now.
How do parabens work?
Parabens effect the body in a manner similar to estrogen, a female hormone; high concentrations in males can lead to higher bodyfat, lower muscle mass and gynecomastia. Research confirms that parabens bind to estrogen receptors and induce effects comparable to those of estrogen. In one British study, benzylparaben applied to the skin of immature female mice increased the size of their uteruses, a result similar to that caused by pure estrogen. Some studies have even found intact parabens in human breast tumors.
Here's a list of products that commonly contain paraben preservatives:
Soaps and toothpastes:
*antiperspirants and deodorants
*eye, ear and nose drops
*marinated fish products
*frozen dairy products
*jams and jellies
*soft drinks and fruit juices
*baked goods and candy
The chemicals in these products are in low-concentrations; however, over time the buildup of parabens in the body can cause problems such as increased chances of tumors. A study done by British researchers found that traces of chemicals called parabens in tissue taken from women with breast cancer were a possible contributing factor to tumor formation. (Routledge et al., 1998)
Fig 1. Parabens in Cancer cells
The mainstream corporations from food to make-up producers have worked hard to suppress all information in relations to parabens, as most researchers are either paid-off or shut down via other monetary methods.
Given their use in a wide range of commercially available topical preparations, it is suggested that the safety in use of these chemicals should be reassessed, with particular attention being paid to estimation of the actual levels of systemic exposure of humans exposed to these chemicals. The acquisition of such data is a prerequisite to the derivation of reliable estimates of the possible human risk of exposure to parabens. (Routledge et al., 1998)
Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours.
J Appl Toxicol. 2004 Jan-Feb;24(1):5-13.
Darbre PD, Aljarrah A, Miller WR, Coldham NG, Sauer MJ, Pope GS.
Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, School of Animal and Microbial Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AJ, UK. email@example.com
Parabens are used as preservatives in many thousands of cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical products to which the human population is exposed. Although recent reports of the oestrogenic properties of parabens have challenged current concepts of their toxicity in these consumer products, the question remains as to whether any of the parabens can accumulate intact in the body from the long-term, low-dose levels to which humans are exposed. Initial studies reported here show that parabens can be extracted from human breast tissue and detected by thin-layer chromatography. More detailed studies enabled identification and measurement of mean concentrations of individual parabens in samples of 20 human breast tumours by high-pressure liquid chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry. The mean concentration of parabens in these 20 human breast tumours was found to be 20.6 +/- 4.2 ng x g(-1) tissue. Comparison of individual parabens showed that methylparaben was present at the highest level (with a mean value of 12.8 +/- 2.2 ng x g(-1) tissue) and represents 62% of the total paraben recovered in the extractions. These studies demonstrate that parabens can be found intact in the human breast and this should open the way technically for more detailed information to be obtained on body burdens of parabens and in particular whether body burdens are different in cancer from those in normal tissues. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Although parabens have the possibility of causing breast cancer, you should not drop every creature comfort you have. The suggestion we make here is watch what you use and pay attention to the products in your possession as they are NOT all safe. There are plenty of natural and organic options for you to consider, you just have to take a bit of time to find them. We ask you to do your own research and draw your own further conclusions from this.
Chief Research Officer