What Are Paraben’s? Are They Cosmetic Preservatives?
Paraben’s are most widely used as preservatives in food, drugs, and as a cosmetic preservative in personal cosmetics such as shampoos, shaving cream, make up, and skin creams to name just a few. Paraben’s are used to prevent the growth of microorganisms in all consumer products allowing a long shelf life. Better know as Methylparaben, Propyparaben, butylparaben or benzylparaben.
Are Paraben’s Dangerous?
In 2004 Dr. Philippa Darbre came out with her research finding paraben’s in human breast tumors. Dr. Darbre and other scientists theorized that anti-perspirants and deodorants that contain parabens might have penetrated into the breast tissue because of the close proximity to the breast. This was only a theory!
Around that time I remember a E mail that spread like wildfire claiming that all anti-perspirants causes breast cancer, and allot of women took heed, and stopped using antiperspirants which had a lasting wafting effect. Then later it was disproved stating that it was only a theory and everyone gladly went back using their deodorant, YAY!
Then Dr Darbre teamed up with surgeon, Mr. Lester Barr to study tissue samples from 40 women who has mastectomies between the years 2005-2008. A total of 160 tissue samples were taken from all regions of the breast. 99% of the samples contained one or more paraben, while 60% of the samples contained traces of ALL five of the commonly used parabens.
The fact that parabens were detected in the majority of the breast samples taken, does NOT imply that they actually caused breast cancer.
[blockquote cite=”Dr. Philippa Darbre”]However the fact that parabens were present in so many breast samples, does justify further investigation.[/blockquote]
What We Do Know About Paraben’s and Cosmetic Preservatives
Parabens do have estrogen-like effects in the body. This is a real concern since 80% of all breast tumors are fueled by estrogen. Estrogen-receptor positive breast tumors require this hormone in order to develop and grow. Many breast cancer treatments act immediately by eliminating and blocking any present natural hormone, HRT or Bio Identical hormones during and after cancer therapy. This is what got my attention. I have gone through all stages of cancer treatments with my clients, some clients having genetic predisposition but most, if not ALL, were on some kind of hormone therapy. The connection has been resounding and frustrating at the same time,… a true learning lesson for me personally.
The jury is still out whether or not parabens can cause breast cancer. Further study needs to be done, with Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals EDC. Also tissue samples with cancer free breasts detecting parabens. The Food and Drug Administration has ruled parabens safe, and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review found that parabens are safe for use in cosmetic products at levels up to 25 percent. Most cosmetics range from 0.01 to 0.3 percent.
With all this being said if your a cancer surviver or have breast cancer in your family history, I can not blame you or anyone for trying to eliminate some if not all unnecessary parabens from your daily personal product usage until we know more.