Jacek Arct 1/, Magdalena Krulikowska 2/
1/ Fundacja dr Seidla w Warszawie
2/ Action Poland sp. z o.o.
Parabens are widely used and effective preservatives, derivatives of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, used for several decades in food, pharmacy, and cosmetics. Their toxic effects, endocrine disruption, carcinogenicity, or genotoxicity have never been confirmed in humans. Concerns about the xenoestrogenicity of parabens are supported by a body of in vitro and animal in vivo evidence. The actual impact on human health is far from clear. The discovery of parabens in neoplastic tissue is not clear evidence of their toxicity. Removing parabens from consumer products and replacing them with other preservatives can lead to adverse health effects. There is still scientific evidence of the toxicity of parabens. However, they are considered by the SCCP to be completely safe ingredients in cosmetics. Their use in cosmetics is legally restricted by this institution. More research is needed to overcome the controversy about them.
Key words: parabens, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid esters, cosmetics, preservatives, toxicity, cancer