Chemicals play a major role in our life. They are used for various purposes for example: construction, cooking, cleaning and preservation. We are all surrounded by many different kinds of chemicals. They have positive or negative effect on us. Some are very famous for there negative effects while others are not but still they gradually affect us. One of the silently affecting types of chemical is Paraben. Paraben are chemicals used as preservatives in cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical products.
It has been used since 1920s and has been accepted because of their effectiveness and its cheap cost. However, recent research has challenged this view. As they show that parabens can bind to estrogen receptor and can have endocrine-disrupting actions. In this small period of time some actions has been taken against the use of parabens but still it is widely used. Structure of Paraben Parabens have simple chemical structure. They are made up of a 6-member carbon ring with a hydroxyl group (-OH) on one side of the ring and a hydrocarbon group on the other side. Research So far!
Parabens work within a formula to prevent the growth of multiple possible pollutants such as bacteria, yeast, mold and fungi. The 2003 report of US Environmental Protection Agency reported that paraben can copy one body’s own hormone and can have endocrine-disrupting actions. More than 12 researches also show that paraben can have estrogenic activities on animals (rats) and human tissues. A recent research at the University Of Reading, United Kingdom, by Dr Philippa Darbre and colleagues traced high concentration of Paraben in 19 out of the 20 human breast tumors.
They found methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyol and benzyl parabens in the sample. While there is no certain evidence of paraben causing cancer, scientists conclude to review the use of paraben. Though, they are certain that paraben are associated with the overall rise in breast cancer cases. How can Paraben be Harmful? Paraben can accumulate in body by many different means. Absorption: We can absorb paraben in body when we rub products that contain paraben on our body. Inhalation: They can be inhaled when dyes are used.
Ingestion: They can also get in a body system when they consume water or food (eg: fish) that has been contaminated with paraben. As paraben doesn’t get washed out of our system they get collected in our fat tissues and have a long term effect on us. They can mimic our hormones which can disturb actions of humans and animals hormones. Thus, they can also affect the endocrine system of humans and animals. The endocrine system regulates every function of the body. So, if paraben can disturb the endocrine system then it can interfere with bodies every system. . Actions taken so far… ) Japan and Sweden has prohibited the use of Paraben in cosmetics. 2) Australia and New Zealand have compulsory ingredients labeling requirements and they also made it mandatory to indicate hazardous for specific ingredients like paraben.
This enables the consumers to differentiate between products with Paraben and products without Paraben. 5) Heptyl paraben which is used in many frozen foods is forbidden from U. S. A 4) The European commission has asked the European Cosmetics and Toiletry industry to research about these new findings and its connection with breast cancer. ) Many cosmetics industries have launched products which are organic and contain no paraben in it. The Breast Cancer Action Society works towards educating people about Paraben and requesting them to stop using products that contain Paraben. However, well know companies like Avon, Revlon, Estee Lauder and Mary Kay, who donates a certain amount from their profit for the fight against breast cancer have harmful chemical like Paraben in there products. Social responsibility of the manufacturer Paraben is found in 75-90% of cosmetics.
However, not all cosmetic companies use Paraben preservatives and many companies are introducing new Paraben-less products because of the raised concern about its effect. However, some companies are trying to deny the fact that Paraben has any relation with increase in breast cancer. New cosmetic companies are concentrating more on organic and natural cosmetics and the have made “no Paraben” their policy. Therefore, this means that more and more organic, Paraben products are available. Though, more companies are introducing natural products because other trend of organic products.