The parabens are phenolic compounds used as preservatives in 22,000 cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoos, conditioners etc. They include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isopropylparaben and isobutylparaben. They all weakly stimulate growth of breast cancer cells and are able to bind to both ERalpha and ERbeta receptors with methylparaben acting at 1/1000 of the strength as estradiol. Parabens can be absorbed intact through the skin. There is a need to carry out detailed evaluation of parabens’ potential ability to promote female breast cancer, to interfere with male reproductive functions, and to cause malignant melanoma.
- ER-dependent estrogenic activity of parabens assessed by proliferation of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells and expression of ERalpha and PR.
- Final amended report on the safety assessment of Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, and Benzylparaben as used in cosmetic products.
- A review of the endocrine activity of parabens and implications for potential risks to human health.
- Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks.
- Comparison of the global gene expression profiles produced by methylparaben, n-butylparaben and 17beta-oestradiol in MCF7 human breast cancer cells.