Friday, October 9, 2009

Let's Review: Parabens

I think it has been a while since I mentioned parabens, and I think this is very important, so let me mention it again. I would encourage you to check every shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion you own (especially if your kids use it). Look on the ingredients list. Look for any word ending in "paraben." There are several blends of parabens, so just look for the suffix. This is a dangerous chemical that enters the skin when applied and imitates estrogen. No one needs unregulated estrogen in his or her blood stream. It is linked to breast and uteran cancers (breast cancer can happen in men, too), early development of girls, and childhood hormonal imbalances. On a side note, it is running in to our streams and ponds from our waste products. As a result, in the heavily populated areas, male fish are becoming scarce. And who knows what it is doing to the girl fish in the mean time.
Parabens should be banned, but there is nothing in place to allow the FDA or any government agency to regulate it. The best thing we can do now is protect our own from it. Stop using any paraben and replace it with healthier options. Most Aveeno products are paraben free, though I have found a few with parabens, much to my disappointment. Bar soaps and clear soaps are more likely to be paraben free, as are clear shampoos and conditioners. Stick to original Desitin, not generics, with babies' diaper creams (yes, imagine my shock when I noticed my Target diaper cream I had applying to my baby's butt had parabens. I was sick.).
If you have a ton of bottles with parabens in them, I am sad to say I don't know how to dispose of them in a non-toxic way. Perhaps they will have a system for it when it becomes a known health issue instead of a closet knoweledge of only a few.
Be an advocate for our children and tell a friend about parabens.

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