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Organic Consumers Association

Parabens in Antiperspirants May Cause Breast Cancer

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    New research examining parabens found in cancerous human breast tissue points the finger at antiperspirants and other cosmetics for increasing your risk of breast cancer.

The research, which is also reviewed in an editorial published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, looked at where breast tumors were appearing, and determined that higher concentrations of parabens were found in the upper quadrants of the breast and axillary area, where antiperspirants are usually appliedii.

Parabens are chemicals that serve as preservatives in antiperspirants and many cosmetics, as well as sun lotions. Previous studies have shown that all parabens have estrogenic activity in human breast cancer cells.

Another component of antiperspirants, aluminum chloride, has been found to act similarly to the way oncogenes work to provide molecular transformations in cancer cells. According to the authors of the editorial review, the research shows "signals of concern that such compounds are not as safe as previously generally considered, and further research is warranted." Furthermore:

"The data from this latest study, the most extensive examination of parabens in human breast so far published, confirms previous work and raises a number of questions on the entire parabens, personal care product and human health debate, particularly relating to the source and toxicological significance of the paraben esters."   


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