A new study published in the January 12, 2011 edition of the Journal of Applied Toxicology could have far-reaching implications for women worldwide who are habitual users of some types of beauty and health products.
In the study, researchers at the University of Reading in Great Britain found what were described as “widespread traces” of parabens in nearly all of the 160 breast cancer tissue samples they acquired from 40 women who suffered from the disease. Parabens are used as preservatives in many commonly used household products, including cosmetics, lotions, daily moisturizers, shampoos, and deodorants. Parabens enter the body by being absorbed through the skin.
The scientists say parabens imitate the action of the female hormone estrogen, which has also been linked to the growth of breast tumors. And the study found that the concentration of parabens in the women’s breast cancer tissue was large enough to have driven the growth of estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells in a laboratory setting.
Of the 160 breast cancer tissue samples the doctors analyzed, 158 of them showed traces of at least one parabens, and 96 showed traces of at least five of these preservatives. Because several of the women reported that they’d never used antiperspirant or deodorant, the scientists said it was impossible to identify the exact source of the parabens.
The researchers were quick to point of that their study does not mean that the parabens definitely caused the women’s breast cancer. But they do say that their study does raise enough questions about the safety of parabens to warrant further research, particularly since the use of parabens in household products is so widespread.
Source: Medical News Today; Journal of Applied Toxicology
Published On: January 24, 2012