There’s a long laundry list of things people believe cause cancer. Some of them have been proven to be connected to cancer somehow. Others have yet to obtain a scientific correlation to cancer, and still others are likely just old wives’ tales. But a study out of the UK has shown a frightening connection between cancer and a certain ingredient of many cosmetic products, such as deodorant, shampoo, and makeup.
Dr. Philippa Darbre, from the University of Reading in the UK, and a team of researchers did a small study using breast tissue samples from 40 women with primary breast cancer. They detected paraben esters in 99 percent of the tissues they studied, and in 60 percent of cases, five or more different types of paraben compounds were found.
This was a small study of just 40 women, but its results are profound and suggest that larger studies are definitely in order to determine whether parabens may be causing cancer.
Parabens have estrogen-like properties, which is the reason why they’re believed to be linked to breast cancer, some types of which are fueled by estrogen. Parabens are particularly dangerous because we encounter them so much and because they are not always called the same thing in product labels. Even products labeled “all-natural” could contain some type of this man-made chemical.
Parabens are used as a preservative ingredient in lotion, sunscreen, deodorant, shampoo, makeup, shave gel, pharmaceutical drugs, toothpaste, and even food additives. Be sure to read your labels carefully to avoid unwanted chemicals in these products.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?