Sunday, October 16, 2011

Parabens: The Link to Breast Cancer and Other Health Issues

Personal hygiene items - we all use them, but could they be harmful to our bodies? What could be "dangerous" about deodorant, you ask? Is there really any danger to our breast health in using other personal care products and cosmetics with certain questionable ingredients?
Lurking in personal hygiene products, such as deodorants, body lotions, facial creams, soaps, cleansers and body sprays are chemical preservatives called parabens. These preservatives help keep products fresh by preventing bacterial growth and also help to increase the shelf life of products. Some products can stay good for years with these potent chemical preservatives - but at what cost?
The problem with this particular kind of preservative is that it a chemical that may be putting people at risk for health problems, as it has been linked to breast cancer as well as other types of cancer. According to a recent study conducted by an oncology expert at the University of Reading, tumors have been linked to this chemical preservative.
Tumors that were examined actually contained the different types of parabens that are commonly found in our body care products. Some of these parabens were methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben and benzylparaben. You can easily spot them on ingredient labels as they always end in the word "paraben".
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women; could it be that preservatives are doing more harm than good? Can using these products really be dangerous for us? The jury is still out in regards to whether these chemicals can truly be considered a product that would put people at risk for health problems, by leading to cancer.
Every day women are diagnosed with breast cancer and it seems that this chemical preservative may put women in danger by leading to a higher risk of cancer. Lab studies on rats, mice, and human cells have indicated that parabens mimic women's estrogen activity.
Increased estrogen activity is known to put one at greater risk for breast cancer. It seems that if there is even a remote possibility that these chemically engineered preservatives may result or put one at a higher risk for cancer, than other alternatives should be sought out.
In addition to the potential of these chemically engineered preservatives being harmful to women, these synthetic preservatives are also known to cause allergic reactions in individuals. People may suffer from skin rashes and irritation all because of this synthetic preservative.
Skin is the largest organ in the body-what is put on topically is absorbed inside the body, and the use of products with parabens, means the use of chemically engineered preservatives. Paraben free products are becoming more widely available, and if paraben free products lessen the risk of cancer, than one should highly weight the potential risk of using a product with this unnatural preservative.
One should ask themselves, is it worth using these products? After all, there are healthier alternatives. Paraben free products often use a natural preservative - vitamin E. Vitamin E is a healthier, natural substitution for chemical preservatives, as it is an antioxidant that will help skin and hair appears smoother and cleaner.
Some individuals believe that the fact that personal care items with parabens are being considered a danger by some individuals to be pure foolishness; that is they believe that women are just being paranoid and making a big deal over nothing. Is the risk of using products with synthetic preservatives worth a possibility of an increase for risk of breast cancer?
There is a growing selection of paraben free personal care items, which do not have chemicals considered to be potentially dangerous to those using them, so why would anyone choose to potentially put themselves in danger? Is the risk that parabens pose worth taking? Consider making a healthy decision by switching to natural, paraben free products.

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