The concern about man-made chemicals that mimic the body's hormones is growing ever wider. So-called endocrine disruptors are common, and are of a growing concern because they are active in such minute quantities -- just like natural hormones.
A story in today's Chicago Tribune details the rash of studies about parabens -- a common class of chemicals found in skin-care products, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants and other personal-care products. These preservatives are used to keep bacteria and other nasty things at bay while products sit on the shelves.
Paraben is also found in human blood and urine, and has even been detected in breast tumors. Some forms of breast cancer have been linked to endocrine disruptors, though the specific culprit -- or more likely conspiracy of culprits -- has not been identified.
The good news is that there are alternatives on the market that use natural alternatives. To find out if your favorite products are free of parabens, look for these words in ingredient lists: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben or benzylparaben.
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