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FDA and Parabens Preservatives

In order to answer safety concerns associated with the use of parabens in cosmetics, the FDA has added a section to its website to address these issues. See FDA Parabens

The article contains two paragraphs of note:

Given that the use of parabens in cosmetics is typically between 0.01 and 0.3%, a review of exposure limits in 2005 concluded that parabens were safe as used in cosmetics.

The FDA notes that estrogenic activity in the body is associated with certain forms of breast cancer. Parabens can act similarly to estrogen but have been shown to be much less active than the body’s naturally occurring estrogen—the most potent paraben tested in a 1998 study, butylparaben, showed 10000- to 100000-fold less activity than naturally occurring estradiol. Given the low levels of use in cosmetics, a report by Golden et al concluded that it was implausible, based on daily exposure rates, that parabens could increase the risk associated with exposure to estrogenic chemicals.

Thus, the FDA has concluded that, at the present time, there is no reason to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. However, beyond all the evidence, the consumer trend is for ‘paraben-free’ products with the preservative issues these raise!

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