Parabens are endocrine disruptors used in products as a preservative due to their antimicrobial properties. You can most commonly find parabens in personal care items such as shampoos, conditioners, hair products, skin car, hand lotions, cosmetics, sunscreens, personal lubricants, shave gels, toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, food and topical pharmaceuticals...whew, that is a ton of items.
Parabens mimic estrogen and have been shown to affect cell tissue development by increasing cell development and growth. Since parabens are not true estrogen, the cells that are developing have a greater risk of developing abnormally.
The good thing is, our bodies are programmed to eliminate or kill abnormally developing cells naturally as a way of keeping us healthy. The bad thing is, parabens also prevents our bodies from doing this really important job.
Here’s the kicker...parabens, mainly Methylparaben prevents breast cancer chemotherapy drugs from effectively fighting cancer.
Pregnant women, fetuses and young children are the most susceptible since their bodies are in rapid cell development mode and are at the most risk of endocrine disruptors affect. However, everyone can be affected by parabens and you should phase them out of your life.
The good news is, there are plenty of nontoxic preservatives that are being used in products, you just have to read labels to make sure you are choosing safer alternatives. For information on nontoxic cleaners you can read "How To Tell If Your Cleaning Products Are Safe."
WAYS TO AVOID EXPOSURE
- Do not buy products that contain parabens. Look for these names on the label:
- Look for “paraben free” products when purchasing: shampoo/conditioner, body lotion, body soaps, deodorants, hair products, shaving cream, moisturizers, all makeup, toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Use the ThinkDirty App to look up product ingredients for personal care items and to find safer options to purchase.
- Do not overlook food labels. Typical foods that contain parabens: beer, sauces, soft drinks, condiments, jams, pickles, frozen dairy products, and processed vegetables.
- It's safest to make your own condiments and dressings to avoid toxic processed ingredients. It's healthier for you and your family, plus you get to control the ingredients, adding more of what you like.
It's really all boils down to your purchases. I know that some people love their brands, but once you decide to have a healthier life, this will open you up to seeing the large selection of nontoxic products in the marketplace to choose from.
Some websites to check out for safe personal care items:
If you know of anyone who is struggling with health issues, is trying to become pregnant, is pregnant or has/had breast cancer, please share this valuable information. You can be that one person who cares enough to change their life!