The Paraben / Breast Cancer Connection – Get the FactsNo industry has aligned itself more closely with the breast cancer movement than the cosmetics industry. It has long flooded the market with products prominently displaying the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon. Yet while they proudly claim to care about women with breast cancer, their pink ribbon products all too often contain carcinogenic (cancer-causing) parabens – and if that isn’t bad enough, many of these toxic products are intended for women undergoing treatment for cancer.
What are Parabens and Why are they Bad?Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics products, including antiperspirants, lotions, sunscreens and general cosmetics. Parabens are absorbed through the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that parabens mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen and can actually bind to the cellular estrogen receptor. This can increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by the natural estrogen estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells (MCF-7 cells) to grow and proliferate in vitro. A recent study by the Journal of Applied Toxicology detected the presence of paraben esters in 99% of breast cancer tissues sampled.
Products that Most Frequently Contain Parabens
- Deodorants and Antiperspirants
- Lotions and Moisturizers
- Anti-aging Creams