The dangers of chemicals known as parabens have been gaining attention in recent years, but what are parabens and how can they harm you?
Parabens are chemicals which lend antimicrobial and preservative properties to the products to which they are added. Parabens appear in many products that are used daily by millions of Americans, including shampoos, conditioners, soaps, deodorants, body wash, and other products.
Parabens can mimic estrogen in the human body, and they can cause disruption of hormonal balance and hormonal function, and they can sometimes be found in tissue taken during breast tumor biopsies. Due to their ability to mimic estrogen, parabens may be implicated in the development of breast cancer, since higher estrogen levels have been linked to that particular form of cancer. Early puberty and decreased sperm levels may also be caused by the presence of parabens in the body.
These chemicals can be found in product ingredient lists in many forms, including but not limited to methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben.
Many consumers have chosen to only purchase personal care products that are labeled “paraben free“. Companies are responding to consumer demand and meeting that demand with a large array of paraben-free products.