Parabens: Pretty Safe After All?

Just as mainstream brands have started taking paraben concerns into consideration and taking parabens out of many products, the organizations that take a stringent anti-paraben stance have been dealt an investigational blow.

Europe's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety performed tests involving propylparaben and butylparaben, two common parabens used as preservatives in numerous personal-care products and accused of engendering hormonal effects and health problems by several environmental groups, some of which won't give a product its seal of approval if parabens are present.

According to the results, the parabens are only partially absorbed when applied to mouse skin; furthermore, they're completely metabolized before getting a chance to enter the bloodstream. Blood plasma tests showed no presence of the compounds.

The findings confirm for many pro-paraben pundits that parabens, at the level used in beauty products, are incapable of producing an adverse effect, as mammals metabolize the compounds too fast. The results will likely be interpreted by numerous manufacturers as a green light to continue or return to using parabens as a safe product-preserving option.