Seventh Generation’s newsletter concerns information that is news to me about potential estrogenic effects from the common preservatives Parabens. They can be found under these names:
• butylparaben or butyl paraben
• butyl p-hydroxybenzoate
• ethylparaben or ethyl paraben
• ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate
• heptylparaben or heptyl paraben
• heptyl p-hydroxybenzoate
• methylparaben or methyl paraben
• methyl p-hydroxybenzoate
• parahydroxybenzoic acid or para hydroxybenzoic acid
• propylparaben or propyl paraben
• propyl p-hydroxybenzoate
What I found especially interesting is that if ingested, the effect is lessened because digestion decreases the action. Parabens are most often found in creams and lotions and other skin care products, and initial studies indicate some concern about absorption through the skin and use in products that are left on the skin.
So check your products, and there are links in the longer article to the original study and the concerns regarding breast cancer specifically. Apparently many manufacturers are now labeling products as “paraben free”.