“What are Parabens?” Parabens are widely used preservatives in cosmetics and medicines, foods and beverages. However, some researchers suggested that Parabens may affect fertility and raise cancer risk. So, are Parabens safe to use? Let’s read the article below to find out the answer.
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Parabens are a group of chemicals primarily used as a preservatives in many products such as cosmetics, and medicines,… to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and to increase a product’s shelf life. Parabens are formed from para-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA), which is present in fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, cherries, blueberries, and carrots,… Furthermore, PHBA is also an acid formed naturally in the human body by breaking some amino acids.
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Some Parabens, such as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isopropyl paraben, butylparaben, and isobutyl paraben, are often used in consumer goods and personal care items. Additionally, a product will often include two or more Parabens.
Because of their low estrogenic action, methylparaben and butylparaben are known as shorter-chain Parabens and are frequently employed in combination. Longer-chain Parabens, such as propylparaben and butylparaben, are typically used alone due to their more potent activity.
In addition to foods and medicines, Parabens are frequently found in various types of cosmetics, such as makeup, sunscreens, deodorants, hair care products, beard gels, facial cleansers, etc. However, long-term use of Paraben in cosmetics may negatively lead to health issues, including cancer, skin irritation, hormone disruptions, and fertility.
Currently, there is still no conclusive answer about the effects of this substance as the safety of Parabens has been a controversial issue for decades. Before that, in 1970 Propylparaben was recognized as safe for use. However, in recent years there have been a lot of debates and research indicating that Parabens are linked to endocrine disorders and breast cancer. Here are some of its negative effects:
Parabens were classified as substances with the potential to alter hormones by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2017. Because Parabens may act like the hormone estrogen in the body, they can impair the hormone system’s natural operation. That will directly impact a woman’s reproductive capabilities and process, such as decreasing fertility and raising the likelihood of preterm delivery. In a 2014 study by Zhang, long-term exposure to butylparaben in men also reduced sperm production and testosterone levels.
Scientists are concerned that exposure to estrogens from the environment may increase the risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer in females. According to Wróbel (2014), propylparaben can change genes in breast cancer cells (Okubo, 2001). According to a recent study from the University of California-Berkeley, butylparaben, which was previously not considered toxic, interacts with other cellular receptors to activate cancer genes and promote the development of breast cancer cells in low dosages (Pan, 2016).
According to the 2006 CIR, skin can become sensitized to products containing Parabens. In addition, many studies show that when applied to the skin, Methylparaben can react with UVB rays in the sun, resulting in the likelihood of skin aging and DNA damage. Therefore, the skin will be vulnerable due to the reduced resistance of the skin. It affects the skin by the external environment, resulting in the risk of skin cancer.
Conclusion: Parabens have excellent antibacterial properties, but their adverse effects have become a controversial problem worldwide. Until now, FDA has yet had strict regulations on preservatives in cosmetics, they only considered Parabens like other ingredients. Therefore, it is better to avoid using products containing Paraben ingredients to ensure your health and skin.
Reading the ingredient list on the packaging is the best way to determine Parabens. Parabens typically occur in the middle or bottom of the ingredient list. However, they are frequently listed under different names that are often derivatives of this chemical. A list of prohibited and permitted Parabens is provided below:
Non – prohibited derivatives:
According to some research, long-term exposure to Parabens can have adverse health effects such as endocrine disruption and reproductive harm, breast cancer risk, skin allergies and skin cancer risk.
When Paraben compounds are applied to the skin, they can weaken skin resistance and raise the risk of skin cancer.
The above article has now answered the question, “What are Parabens?”. Although the safety of Parabens has not been confirmed, many researches indicated that you should stay away from products containing Parabens to maintain your health. If you have any other questions, please contact us for prompt support.
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