Lotions, shampoos and personal care products are supposed to make you look and feel better. But medical research shows that a class of preservatives in these items is potentially linked to breast cancer, sperm deformation and asthma.
The chemicals in question are known as parabens. On product labels, they are often listed as butylparaben, isoparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben or butylparaben.
Most of us are exposed to these toxins every day. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that more than 90 percent of Americans use them constantly.
While your body breaks parabens down quickly, they have been detected in urine, breast milk and blood.
The study at the State University of New York at Albany entailed the collection of 170 samples of makeup, lotions, shampoos and other products, including 20 items for babies, and tested them for nine phthalates (another class of toxins) and six types of parabens. Both types of toxins were found in personal care products. In baby products, phthalate concentrations were low, but parabens were common. When the researchers calculated possible exposure levels, they estimated that the potential daily skin exposure to parabens by infants and toddlers could be as much as two to three times higher than that for adult women.