Parabens are a type of synthetic chemical, commonly used as a preservative in a variety of products. Common parabens include methylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben, and benzylparaben.

Parabens are used as preservatives in:

  • Food products
  • Personal care products and cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals

Parabens have been detected in:

  • House dust
  • Soil
  • Wastewater and rivers

Concerns Around Parabens

Considering parabens can be absorbed dermally (through the skin) and may reach the bloodstream, there are concerns over paraben use, particularly in personal care products and cosmetics. Parabens have also been detected in human fluids and tissues, including breast tissue. This finding, along with the potential estrogenic effects of parabens, has led to the hypothesis that parabens may be associated with breast cancer.

 

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