Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, and Ethyl Paraben)

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-02-14 (EDT)

Parabens are one of many toxic environmental chemicals. They are added to plastics to impart resilience and flexibility. Smaller phthalates are used to prolong the length of time that a scented product maintains its fragrance. They are used widely as an antimicrobial, a preservative and flavorant in food, as well as cosmetic and pharmaceutical formulations to increase shelf life.


  • sprays, fragrances, conditioners; shampoos, hair gels, deodorants, antiperspirants, soaps, hand sanitizers, facial masks and foundations, sunscreens, self-tanners, hair removal creams and shaving gels, nail and skin creams, baby lotion.
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • injectable drugs, antacids, suppositories, Benadryl cream, hydrocortisone creams and ointments, medicated pain-relieving patches, mentholated vapor rub, chap stick, antifungal and antibacterial preparations.
  • Industry:
  • added to plastics to make them soft and flexible – parabens are ubiquitous in nature
  • automobile parts, lubricating oils, detergents.
  • Household Products:'
  • plastic wrap, plastic bottles, plastic food storage containers
  • vinyl flooring, detergents
  • children's toys, shower curtains raincoats
  • furniture, flooring, wallpaper, blow-up furniture
  • packaged meats, fish and poultry
  • mayonnaise, oils, salad dressing, catsup, pickles, relishes
  • processed fruits and vegetables
  • frozen dairy products
  • cakses, pies, pastries, icings
  • jellies and jams
  • beers and ciders, soft drinks, fruit juices
  • syrups, and some candies.
  • may also be derived from bacterial metabolism in the gut.

Impact on Health


  • Alkyl esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, parabens, are hydrolyzed to para-hydroxybenzolate, the main metabolite of parabens, via tissue esterases found in skin, subcutaneous fat, liver and kidney.
  • Bioaccumulation of parabens may result from chronic exposure.
  • Thyroid dsyfunction
  • Liver and kidney toxicity
  • Changes in behaviour and cognition.