By Jana Taylor
Parabens are preserving agents. They keep products from growing mold, even when they are kept in conditions that are not ideal. In short, they prolong shelf life. And, because they are relatively inexpensive, parabens are used in almost every kind of product all over the world. They have been in use since the 1930’s and have only continued to proliferate ever since. You may be surprised to learn they are in everything from baby products and cosmetics to food and medicated creams.
There is a huge debate on the health effects of parabens. Some will say there is no definitive evidence either way that parabens cause cancer, or any other ill health effects. More cautious observers point out that while limited quantities of parabens may not be harmful, the sheer volume of products we use that contain them is more than enough to build up over time and cause harm.
Products that include prefixes, such as “ethyl,” “butyl,” “methyl,” and “propyl” are usually parabens, even if the word “paraben” does not appear in the name. If you spend a moment examining your personal care products you may be shocked when you find that nearly all of them have parabens in them.
There are definitely things you can do to reduce your paraben use! Many companies that have a commitment to natural ingredients (like Peaceful Mountain™) have completely eliminated parabens from their products. Educating yourself about the ingredients in products you use will enable you to make wise choices that in turn help you have a healthier lifestyle.
Jana Taylor is a staff writer for Peaceful Mountain.