Wellness

The health risks of methylparabens

Methylparabens are a type of chemical that manufacturers often use as a preservative. They can be added to foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals to increase shelf life and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. Methylparabens belong to a group of chemicals known as parabens. These are preservative ingredients that have been used for almost 100 years to prevent the growth of fungi, bacteria and yeasts, which could lead to product spoilage.

Manufacturers often include parabens in cosmetics, personal care products, foods, and pharmaceuticals. Common types of parabens are:

– methylparaben
– propylparaben
– ethylparaben
– butylparaben

Methylparabens occur naturally in several fruits, including blueberries. However, manufacturers often produce this compound artificially by combining a type of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid and methanol. In this article, we’ll look at methylparaben, including why manufacturers use it, the products it’s found in, and the health risks.

Definition

Methylparaben is a preservative with the chemical formula C8H8O3. Manufacturers use preservatives, like methylparaben, to inhibit the growth of pathogens and halt unwanted chemical changes. Thus, these chemicals can protect both the product and the consumer. However, there is some controversy regarding the safety of methylparabens. Although current evidence suggests they are, other research indicates how this chemical may affect human health.

Why do people use it?

Methylparabens have several functions, most of which relate to product preservation. They are used in particular as:

– antimicrobial food preservatives
– antifungal agents
– neuroprotective agents
– plant metabolites
– allergen control agents

The most common use of methylparaben is as an antimicrobial preservative in cosmetic products.

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What products contain it?

Many products may contain methylparabens. Examples include:

– makeup
– hairdressing products
– shaving cream
– moisturizing creams
– food
– medications

A product’s packaging usually indicates whether it contains methylparaben or other parabens.

Security

Currently, the evidence for the safety of methylparabens is inconclusive. There is some evidence to suggest that methylparabens have negative health implications. But there is also little evidence to suggest they are safe. The main warnings for methylparabens relate to high concentrations of the chemical and point out the following risks

– irritation or corrosion of the skin
– eye irritation or damage
– effects on the environment, as methylparabens can cause lasting damage to aquatic life.

Risks and Considerations

Although research is ongoing, a potential concern with methylparaben is its possible role as an endocrine disruptor. This term refers to a substance that can alter the function of hormones and have a negative effect on human health. Parabens can enter the body through skin absorption, ingestion and inhalation and can mimic the effect of estrogen. As such, this chemical may impair fertility and increase the risk of cancer.

A report published in 2022 suggests that methylparabens may indirectly lead to breast cancer. The report acknowledges that further research is needed. However, he points out many links, including the effects of methylparabens on hormones and the presence of intact parabens in the tissues of human breast tumors.

There is evidence indicating that estrogen plays a role in the development of breast cancer. Therefore, the putative influence of methylparabens on breast cancer tissue growth is likely due to the way they can mimic elevated estrogen levels.

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Another consideration for methylparabens is their link to skin irritation and allergies. A 2019 cross-sectional study found a link between parabens and allergic disease in participants in the United States, Norway, and Japan. This includes allergic sensitization and allergic rhinitis.

How to find products without methylparaben?

Methylparabens are present in many products, but it is possible to do without them. Manufacturers can use alternative ingredients to prevent microbial growth in personal care products. Some companies may also make preservative-free products that have a shorter shelf life.

Summary

Methylparabens are a common type of paraben. This is a group of chemical compounds that manufacturers frequently use in products as preservatives. They can increase the shelf life of products by inhibiting the growth of pathogens that can spoil them. Although parabens can occur naturally, manufacturers often produce synthetic versions of them that they include in their products.

Although further research is needed, there is some data to suggest that this chemical may have an adverse effect on human health. In particular, this chemical may play a role in the development of breast cancer.

Source

Endocrine disruptors. (nd).
https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/cosmetics/cosmetic-products-specific-topics/endocrine-disruptors_en

Hager, E., et al. (2022). Minireview: Parabens, exposure, and breast cancer.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8834979/

Mitsui-Iwama, M., et al. (2019). Exposure to paraben and triclosan and allergic diseases in Tokyo: A pilot cross-sectional study.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6365653/

Stoiber, T. (2019). What are parabens, and why don’t they belong in cosmetics?
https://www.ewg.org/what-are-parabens

* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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