europa skin care : natural, organic & science-based skin care

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Toxic : Paraben

Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, makeup, and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their report "Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Agents of Subtle Change?" reported that the chemical preservatives called parabensmethyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl (alkyl-p-hydroxybenzoates)—displayed estrogenic activity in several tests. This means that these chemicals mimic your body´s own hormones and can have endocrine-disrupting action when they are rubbed into your body or washed down the drain into your drinking water.

These disruptors interfere with your body´s endocrine system: your hypothalamus, your ovaries, your thyroid—virtually every system in your body. The EPA also 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."

Scientists in Europe found other endocrine-disrupting body care chemicals in the bodies of fish that humans are eating, and in human breast milk.



Forms of parabens:
Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Parahydroxybenzoic acid and Parahydroxybenzoate.



History
Parabens were first introduced in the 1930′s and are still the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics. Parabens are found worldwide in body care products, foods, glues, fats and oils. They are widely accepted as inexpensive, colorless, odorless and non toxic. 


In 1995 the US Environmental Protection Agency granted GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status to parabens. In the US the total paraben exposure per person is estimated to be about 76 mg per day. Cosmetics and Personal care products account for 66% of the total exposure to parabens.


However, as a result of more recent evidence suggesting a link between parabens and breast cancer and parabens and testosterone levels the CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel) have elected to reevaluate their safety. At one time the parabens absorbed by the body were thought to be fully metabolized by esterases in the liver, kidney and excreted in the urine. They were not thought to accumulate in the body. 


A study conducted in 1998 found that Parabens bind to rodent uterine estrogen receptors and human estrogen receptors. Because estrogen is a major etiologic factor in the development of human breast tissue it was thought that underarm cosmetics may contribute to breast cancer as parabens were found in excised tumors. Methylparaben was found at the highest level. Another study found a antispermogenic potential in parabens that could adversely affect the secretion of testosterone in the male reproductive system.
As far as parabens and allergic reactions they are considered to be weak sensitizers. There have been numerous reports of allergic reactions but for the most part they involve repeated use on damaged skin and wounds.

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Parabens are a cheap group of compounds used as preservatives found in several cosmetics/powders/lotions/mascara & even under arm deodorant. Parabens are absorbed through the skin. Measurable concentrations of six types of parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from 20 out of 20 breast tumors tested. Parabens are also linked to mimicking estrogen effects in your body that throw your endocrine levels out of wack. Endocrine levels are what regulate your hormones & thyroid. Additional studies have began with extensive funding to test the link to parabens & cancer. Cosmetic companies use these to give their products a longer shelf life. Olay products, Clinique products even Hope in A jar is loaded with them. I even found it in my Bare Escentials mineral veil. Please take this information & read the ingredients on your cosmetics. Do not wait until the jury has decided that they are infact harmful. There are plenty of cosmetic companies out their that do not use them. Some are even starting to print it right on their labels. "Paraben free". You will find these as Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben & Butylparaben. These will be found near the bottom of the ingredient list on your packaging. Please educate yourself & a friend.