Talking Toxins : Parabens
Hello and welcome to Talking Toxins with Rachel…
Just a little background info about me, I’m a wife, mother, nurse, friend, oil lover and health advocate! I am passionate about empowering others to be an advocate for yourself and your family! We are bombarded with toxins every day and truly have no clue of the effects they have on our bodies! I’m hoping through my little weekly articles that I can inspire you to help others…by becoming an advocate for yourself and others – making small changes one day at a time. Trust me I am far from perfect and still have a long way to go to becoming toxic free but it’s ok, I am definitely more aware of the things I am putting on my body and making better choices as I go forward in life!
So first I want to review what the FDA’s role is with cosmetic products and ingredients – guess what, they are not subject to FDA approval before they go on the market! With the exception of color additives, ingredients are not approved. So unless there are problems, scientific evidence showing the product is unsafe to use or if it is labeled improperly, the FDA really doesn’t have as big of a role in this as one might think. To take it a step further many corporations are covered under “trade secret laws” that protect them and they do not have to disclose ingredients! Wow – kind of scary huh! So this is why we need to be advocates for ourselves, families and those who cross our path! Educate yourself, ask questions, check ingredients you are not familiar with online to see what they are and do.
Toxin of the week: PARABENS
So what are they?
Since the 1930’s they have been widely used in products to prevent bacteria growth (a preservative). Over 80% of all cosmetics contain parabens. They can also be found in food and drugs. Most common names are: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben or other ingredients ending in -paraben, you might find more than one paraben on the label.
What do I find them in?
Foundation, lipstick, mascara, hand soap, body lotion/moisturizers, shampoo, conditioner, facial lotions/cleaners, hairspray, mousse, gel, toothpaste, sunscreen and some deodorants. In foods methylparaben may be found in baked goods, creams/pastes, jams/jellies, syrups, processed vegetables, oils, seasonings, dairy products, and beverages.
Why should I be concerned?
Parabens have been found in breast tumors although studies have not indicated that the parabens actually caused the cancer. Other studies have suggested they are hormone disruptors, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and premature aging. The –parabens are stored in the body’s tissue and may interfere with glandular activity and hormone production. They have been detected in breast tissue, urine, serum, breast milk and seminal fluid.
So what are the alternatives?
Look for paraben free products that use vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) as preservatives in place of parabens. Unfortunately cosmetics tend to spoil quickly without using a preservative but there are better options so check those labels!
FDA does support having a maximum concentration guideline, you have to decide if you’re ok with trusting those limits.
Wife, Mother, Nurse and Oil Lover!