Artificial Preservatives – Parabens
We know there are goodies and baddies in some things that we eat, touch, use on our bodies and inhale or absorb but when looking at a product how can you understand the label and decipher what are artificial preservatives and what are not, or more clearly “what are safe preservatives for me to use on my body and what are not?”. The top 5 Artificial Preservatives we will NEVER use in any EverEscents Organic Hair Care products are Parabens, DMDM Hydantoin (Formaldehyde), Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone (M.I.T) and Limonene.
Sometimes known as Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Heptylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives, and that’s why they are found in so many products. They are used to fight bacteria and fungus, are widely available, and cost very little to manufacture and use. Nearly all of the parabens used as preservatives are man-made and not naturally occurring.
Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers. Another concern is that the estrogen-mimic aspect of parabens may be a factor in the increasing prevalence of early puberty in girls. Researchers have found parabens in breast tumors and believe there is a relationship between parabens and tumors. And in the July 2002 issue of the Archives of Toxicology, Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health reported that exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.” If a causal link between a chemical and cancer is not enough to avoid a product that can easily be avoided, I don’t know what is. There are a lot of other reports available all over the internet, but most of them are all related to reproductive health in some way or another.
Hazards: Safe Cosmetics state that the Environmental Working Groups’s Skin Deep database, which compares cosmetic ingredients to over 50 international toxicity databases, indicates that parabens are linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation.
So back to the initial question – what are parabens? They are chemicals we need to work hard to avoid. Be sure to shop for paraben-free products and foods whenever possible, and always read the labels on the things you buy.