Possible Link Between Parabens and Breast Cancer
Study: Nearly all women with breast cancer have parabens in their breast tissue
They are added to everything from shampoos and deodorants to processed foods and pharmaceutical drugs in order to inexpensively extend shelf life and improve product stability. But a new study out of the University of Reading (UR) in the UK has found that, based on tests conducted, nearly every single woman with breast cancer has one or more paraben chemicals in her breast tissue, suggesting a possible link between the chemical and the disease.
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, Dr. Philippa Darbre and her team from UR gathered tissue samples from 40 women who were undergoing mastectomies for breast cancer between the years of 2005 and 2008. The team took four different tissue samples from each woman at separate times, which collectively totaled 160 samples, and performed an extensive analysis on each of their contents.
In the end, the group found that 99 percent of the breast tissue samples contained at least one type of paraben, while 60 percent contained at least five. And while the presence of parabens in cancer-infected breast tissue does not necessarily imply that the chemicals are responsible for causing the disease, it sure does lend suspicion to the notion that parabens could be a potential culprit.
“The intriguing discovery that parabens are present even in women who have never used underarm products raises the question: where have these chemicals come from?” asked Dr Darbre after observing that even women who did not use typical paraben-containing products still had the chemical in their breast tissue. “The fact that parabens were present in so many of the breast tissue samples does justify further investigation.”
In a separate study, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly every human urine sample tested contained parabens. This is particularly concerning, since research compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests that parabens are linked to causing organ system toxicity, reproductive and fertility problems, birth and developmental defects, and endocrine (hormone) disruption. (http://www.ewg.org/chemindex/term/563).
When shopping for personal care products and food, be sure to read all ingredient labels carefully to avoid unnecessary exposure to parabens. High-quality personal care products, for instance, will often contain helpful labels indicating that they do not contain parabens.