1. bookVolume 71 (2021): Issue 1 (March 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
28 Feb 2007
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

The controversies of parabens – an overview nowadays

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 71 (2021) - Issue 1 (March 2021)
Page range: 17 - 32
Accepted: 08 Mar 2020
Journal Details
First Published
28 Feb 2007
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

Effects of paraben toxicity, i.e., endocrine-disruption properties, are in the focus of researchers for decades, but still – they are a hot subject of debate. Parabens are aliphatic esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid, which are widely used as antimicrobial agents for the preservation of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foods. Mostly used parabens are methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butylparaben. Although the toxicity of parabens is reported in animals and in in vitro studies, it cannot be taken for granted when discussing hazards for human health due to an unrealistic exposure -safety profile. Many studies have demonstrated that parabens are non-teratogenic, non-mutagenic, non-carcinogenic and the real evidence for their toxicity in humans has not been established. For now, methyl-, ethyl- and propylparaben are considered safe for use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals within the recommended range of doses. Regarding alternatives for parabens, a variety of approaches have been proposed, but every substitute would need to be tested rigorously for toxicity and safety.


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