Is there really truth to the rumor that parabens, the most widely used preservatives in personal care products, are dangerous to health? Parabens have a long history of safe use owing to its proven track record. But within the last few years, studies show that the chemical could potentially contribute to adverse health effects. While these findings remain inconclusive, consumers are voicing their concerns and trying to limit their exposure to the said chemical. Manufacturers are also keen on removing parabens from their products and are now starting to look for effective alternatives.
According to pureskintone.com, no scientific evidence could prove parabens link to any form of cancer. Rather than worry about the whole thing, let’s get to the facts of the issue.
What are parabens?
Parabens are a group of compounds commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. These compounds have bactericidal and fungicidal properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria or fungi in commercial products. They are usually found in commercial moisturizers, lotions, shampoos, shaving creams, personal lubricants, toothpastes, tanning solutions, makeup and topical or parenteral medicines. Many brands that contain methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben, all used one form of the said ingredient.
What are the reasons for concern?
A team of researchers in oncology headed by Philippa Darbre published a study that showed parabens presence in tissue samples of breast tumor biopsies. Since 55% of breast cancer tumors occur in the upper, outer portion of the breast near the underarm, prolonged use of lotions and deodorants have been closely linked to the rising incidence of breast cancer. It is a known fact that estrogen stimulates breast cancer. In several tests, parabens displayed estrogenic activity when injected under the skin. However, the British study failed to conclude the chemical’s link to cancer because they haven’t examined noncancerous tissues from healthy breasts. For this reason, media was partly blamed for publishing confusing information about parabens and taking the study completely out of context.
How did consumers take it?
Some consumers have raised their concern over the unsafe use of body care products with parabens on their labels. People are getting cautious and limiting the use of body lotions and deodorants that contain the chemical. Because of this, manufacturers are coming out with paraben-free products in their formula in an attempt to encourage more demand from the buying public. Is there really a reason to be mindful? If there is no proven link between parabens and cancer, then there is really nothing to be afraid of. But for the sake of one’s peace of mind, you can do away with this chemical if it helps you rest easy. To play it safe, try to use some oil based organic products that don’t contain water (which needs a preservative). Just make sure to consume the product before the expiration date. At the end of the day, it all boils down to how you feel about it. If there’s no cause for an alarm, why worry?