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April 22, 2014

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What is a Paraben? Why don't we use it?

May 29, 2014

Until there is conclusive evidence to support the safety of parabens in cosmetics, bath and body products, Salty Sister - USA will continue to exclude them from our products.

 

What are parabens?

 

Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products such as soap, moisturizers, shaving cream and underarm deodorant, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA says the most common are methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben.

 

Companies use parabens to extend the shelf life of products and prevent growth of bacteria and fungi in, for instance, face cream. But some think that parabens may be linked to breast cancer and fertility issues.

 

2 recent studies investigate the question - Are parabens dangerous?

 

A 2004 study by Dr. Philippa Darbre published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology found parabens in breast tumors. However, the FDA states in its official post on parabens that "the study did not show that parabens cause cancer." 

 

A 2008 opinion on parabens from the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products states that "methyl paraben and ethyl paraben are not subjects of concern," but that "the safety assessment of propyl and butyl paraben cannot be finalized yet."

 

Rebecca Sutton, a scientist at the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy organization, says her group is most concerned about propyl and butyl paraben too. But even though she says that parabens may disrupt hormones or mimic estrogen. She says, "It's difficult to declare a preservative 'safe.' … We have limited data to evaluate. 

 

So there isn't a consensus on whether parabens are safe. Dr. Wilma Bergfeld, chairwoman of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel, an independent body established by the industry that shares findings with the FDA, says the panel is monitoring the scientific literature and will review the safety of parabens again as new studies become available.

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