Parabens are something that many people aren't aware of - although many of us use them on a regular basis. Parabens are a chemical compound of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, and common types of parabens include butyl, propyl and ethyl parabens. Less common types include benzylparaben and isobutylparaben.
Some parabens occur naturally in such things as blueberries, prunes and cinnamon although all parabens used commercially are made synthetically. Parabens are found in a variety of everyday products - cosmetics, deodorant, face cream, shampoo and toothpaste - an estimated 90% of cosmetic products include parabens.
For many years, parabens have been considered safe, both in the UK and overseas, as they are virtually non-toxic. (NB Use of parabens is currently legal in the UK.) An allergic reaction or sensitivity to parabens is extremely rare - especially considering how widely used they are. However, several studies in recent years have suggested that parabens might be more harmful than we think, although many results are inconclusive.
Some tests have indicated that parabens have caused an increase in oestrogen, however the biggest area of concern is the effect of parabens on breast cancer. Several studies have found traces of parabens in women with breast cancer. There seems little doubt that parabens can affect breast tissue - but whether they actually increase the possibility of breast cancer is still uncertain.
Further research is needed to determine the full implications of parabens on human health and cancer risk, but at Ethical Superstore we believe that you, our customer, have the right to 'buy what you believe'™ and so we choose to support companies working very hard to produce safe and effective cosmetic products without the use of parabens.
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