2D structural formula of paraben


What is it?

“Parabens are a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid (also known as 4-hydroxybenzoic acid).” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Parabens are in EU’s Category 1 group of substances causing endocrine disruption; “Category 1: Substances for which endocrine activity have been documented in at least one study of a living organism. These substances are given the highest priority for further studies.”

Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Phenylparaben, Benzylparaben and Pentylparaben are banned for use in cosmetic products within the European Union. Denmark was first in the EU to ban the use of the preservatives in products for children.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (previously the Breast Cancer Fund) has found studies showing that parabens may cause endocrine disruption, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity. The preservative can be absorbed through our skin, blood and the digestive system.

Possible contamination from parabens:

The following substances might contain impurities from parabens:

How is it used?

Parabens are widely used as preservatives in food additives, cosmetics⋆ and pharmaceutical products. In cosmetic products, it is common to find them in the list of ingredient in everything from shampoo, and toothpaste to makeup. The great use of parabens is due to their low cost and efficiency as preservatives, killing bacteria and fungi in products.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

Read about the other ingredients.


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