These ingredients, as pretty much everything we purchase, are subject to studies and regulations. In a 2004 study, conducted by Philippa Darbe, intact parabens were found in human breast cancer tissue. This led to several questions: How much concern is enough to warrant a ban? Should products be pulled from the shelves at the first publication of a scientific paper that shows a potential link between one of their ingredients and cancer? Well, not quite, according to the podcast, there was not enough evidence (or indication) that the parabens actually caused the tumors (Ben Valsler, 2015). However, during the time there was a growing concern because the initial thought was that these preservatives were supposed to be non-toxic, metabolized with ease and at a rapid pace, but that wasn’t the case, as they learned during the study. Another concern was that these preservatives had (or have) the ability to mimic estrogen. This led to increase concerns about early puberty, increase in cancer, among other health related concerns in consumers. With the recent studies and findings coupled with the increase in worried consumers, more “paraben-free” products were arriving in the market. But this allows for a decrease in shelf life as well as an increase in cost. Ben Vasler wants to leave us with the following, as it pertains to science and safety: “the moral of the paraben parable is that science is not always at the centre of decisions about safety.” (Ben Valsler, 2015).
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