Parabens are among the most worrying chemicals. These chemicals are widely used preservatives which can have an antibiotic effect against fungus, yeast and microorganisms, and are found in many products from skin creams, deodorants, foods through to medicines.
The most used parabens include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. In some products they are identified by their name or just by a code: E218, E214, E216 etc.
Since authorities have limited their usage, the current human exposure to these substances is at a safer level. However, there are scientists who have linked parabens to various health implications including allergic contact dermatitis and other skin problems, possible oestrogen effects, sperm damage (found in experiments conducted on animals) and breast cancer.
The EWG’s Skin Deep database shows that different studies have linked parabens to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, and skin irritations.
They are not only used in personal care products and cosmetics, but also in cough syrups, suppositories, eye drops, contraceptives, corticoids, local anaesthetics, heparins as well as ice creams, cakes, soft drinks, cold meats, jellies and oils. A person could therefore have in their body an enormous amount of these chemicals from various different sources.