Questions and Concerns
Can parabens cause endocrine disruptions?
Studies suggest that prolonged exposure to parabens can lead to endocrine disruptions. Parabens can mimic the ‘oestrogen’ hormone and therefore can cause an imbalance in the body’s hormonal system. In infants and children, paraben exposure can lead to development disorders, immune-system disorders, learning problems and reproductive disorders. They can even induce early onset of puberty in children. It is important that paraben exposure is kept in check.
Can parabens cause cancer?
Some studies indicate that paraben exposure can cause cancer but it is disputed by most researchers, according to whom cosmetics and food items do not contain the amount of parabens that can lead to cancer. For paraben, like any other additive or preservative, they have set a limit that is safe for human exposure. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. The FDA has also classified methyl and propylparaben as ‘generally regarded as safe’ by medical and toxicological experts for use in preserving food. In a study, a high amount of methylparaben was found in the cancer tissues of patients who had breast cancer, but the researchers failed to prove that methylparaben caused these tumours.
Is premature ageing a result?
Studies suggest that methylparaben increases sensitivity to sunrays and thus increases the damage caused by them. One must carefully check this ingredient while buying a cosmetic product.
Parabens and the environment
Parabens are used extensively in cosmetics. Thus, they are often washed away in the water drains. They accumulate in the waste water and undergo waste-water treatment. Nevertheless, many studies have reported high levels of parabens in the treated water. The discarded parabens are also known to play a significant role in formation of chlorinated parabens that are difficult to be treated. Accumulation of these products in the environment leads to increase in paraben concentration. This can enhance the occurrence of health disorders associated with parabens.