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Paraben free has been popping up for some time now in the cosmetic industry for good reason. Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Chemically, they are a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid (also known as 4-hydroxybenzoic acid). Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, makeup, and toothpaste. It is one of the most widely used preservative on the market because it works so well.

Just like with most products, not a lot of long term studies went into the safety aspect of this product. Now over time scientist and Doctors are starting to scratch their heads at their safety and long term issues. Now if you have read anything about items approved for use and understand that it take longer for one to be pulled and deemed unsafe than it takes to say it is safe. You have the companies that are producing the item paying for studies to show they are safe and you have the people that are saying that it is unsafe researching and trying to see if they really are. Until many people are injured and it is proven that it was the cause then we the customers are stuck in the middle of not knowing.

Parabens easily penetrate the skin. ii The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has listed parabens as Category 1 priority substances, based on evidence that they interfere with hormone function. iii Parabens can mimic estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. They have been detected in human breast cancer tissues, suggesting a possible association between parabens in cosmetics and cancer. Parabens may also interfere with male reproductive functions. iv In addition, studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage. v,vii

Numerous studies have been conducted, on both sides of the argument about parabens – so the questions remains. Should we avoid them?

The problem with parabens has been identified because they are xenoestrogens, i.e. they mimic oestrogen in the body. This has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues, including early onset of puberty and reduced sperm count.

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.”

It also appears that parabens can be stored in the body, resulting in a cumulative effect that can damage health over time. Research been found to link them to cancerous cells, but does not compare results with levels of parabens in noncancerous cells.

Even though the research that say Parabens are detrimental, the FDA uses their protocol in the findings. It basically says if the study is very narrow and a very small percentage has an issue then it is probably okay to use. The question is how many more are affected and it isn’t being studied. Questions arise concerning estrogen levels and poly cystic ovaries syndrome, as well as a host of other issues that are a result of high estrogen levels.

Their is enough questions concerning Paraben’s for us at Rolling Meadows to choose all natural. We spend a little more money for our preservative that is derived from Grapefruit and Coconuts, Optiphen Plus. That was we can assure that we are all natural and we have you best interest at heart.




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