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What are Parabens?

Posted by Le Thi Hue Chi on

The word “parabens” refers to a class of preservatives that cosmetic companies use in their products. Common permutations of this preservative include butylparaben and methylparaben. As the single most heavily used preservative in the industry, parabens are found in shaving gel, tanning oils, lotions, shampoos, creams, and dozens of other cosmetic products. Their widespread applications are due to their bactericidal properties. By killing fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms, parabens help to create and uphold the increasingly long shelf life of household products. Study reported the presence of parabens in the breast tumors of several subjects. Increased estrogen levels, a side effect of paraben consumption, catalyze some forms of breast cancer. So why are these cancer-causing preservatives even used when there are safe and natural alternatives like grapefruit seed extract? Unfortunately, parabens are very inexpensive, easy to produce on a large scale, and very good at their job. They also “play well” with other preservatives and surfactants, which means that they can be easily integrated into thousands of different products. 

Until increased advocacy, lobbying, and other forms of pressure prevail, the best way to boycot parabens is to avoid them. Considering their ubiquity, the best way to do this is to purchase explicitly paraben-free cosmetic products. 

Please also visit the website of Breast Cancer Network Vietnam www.bcnv.org.vn

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