What are Methylparabens or Parabens?
A common preservative/antifungal used in the cosmetic industry, pharmaceutical as well as food industries.
Although methylparabens are also found in nature (such as blueberries and wintergreen), the ones used within the cosmetic industry are synthetic in origin.
To check if your product contains parabens look for ingredients such as ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.
What are Methylparaben Health Concerns?
Methylparabens are easily absorbed into the skin and hair follicles (and when ingested through the gastrointestinal tract) such as when you use creams, lotions, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorants.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) ranks methylparabens, on a hazard scale from 0-10, as an 8 with potential to cause several health problems.
Some of the potential health concerns are:
- Male infertility due to mimicking the female hormone estrogen. These are also called false estrogens and act as estrogen disruptors.
- Allergies; contact dermatitis
- Breast cancer. Although this link may be controversial, it may be advised that those with a genetic susceptibility to estrogen-dependent cancers stay away from methylparabens and all other parabens.
It is thought that parabens are metabolized and easily flushed from the body preventing any significant accumulation. However, many consumer groups are pushing for more research to shed light on this health concern.
What are Methylparaben Environmental Concerns?
The EPA has stated that...
"Continual introduction of these benzoates (parabens) into sewage treatment systems and directly to recreational waters from the skin leads to the question of risk to aquatic organisms."
The precautionary principle should apply until a better understanding is clear regarding the risks of parabens.
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We think so.