Parabens – Part II

Sparing you any pithy comments, here is an article from which can be found here:

New data on parabens suggests no adverse hormonal effect on the body
By Katie Bird, 18-Nov-2009
Related topics: Formulation & Science

The industry awaits the judgement on parabens following the release of further data on skin absorption and the distribution of the chemicals in the body.

Florian Schellauf from industry trade body Colipa presented the findings from a recent study on rats at a conference organised by the Scandinavian Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCANCOS) in Sweden.

The study was performed at the request of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) (formerly the SCCP) for more data on the longer parabens, propyl- and butylparaben, following research that claimed the commonly used preservatives may affect the reproductive and hormonal systems of the body.

According to the study data presented at the SCANCOS conference, in rats, parabens are well absorbed after oral administration but only partially absorbed after dermal exposure.

In addition, the data suggests that the compounds are fully metabolised before they enter the blood stream.

Blood plasma tests highlighted only the presence of a paraben metabolite PHBA (p-hydroxybenzoic acid) and no concentrations of the parabens themselves, regardless of which paraben was used and how it was applied (oral, dermal or subcutaneous).

According to Schellauf, PHBA is not known to have any estrogenic effects and is found widely in plants and human food, so trace exposure in the human organism poses no health risk.

“The study confirms the results of a number of research studies, which concluded from their work that parabens are metabolised rapidly and to a large extent in living organisms and therefore cannot exhibit any adverse effects,” said industry trade body Colipa.

The study will be submitted shortly to the SCCS, which will have to come to a decision on whether this new data means the acceptance of methyl-, ethyl, propyl- and butyl-parabens as preservatives in cosmetics products, should remain unaltered.

According to Maria Lodén founder of Sweden-based consulting firm Eviderm and a member of SCANCOS, a decision from the SCCS can’t come soon enough.

Anti-paraben stance

A number of consumer groups, environmental organisations and some industry members have taken an anti-paraben stance which may not be based on respectable scientific evidence, she said.

For example, the Nordic Swan, an environmental label well known in Denmark and Sweden has said products aiming to gain its label cannot contain parabens. Following the release of this new data and the SCCS’s forthcoming opinion, Lodén believes the Swan label should change their criteria and allow the compounds.

“My interpretation of the current data is that, in addition to methyl- and ethylparaben, also propyl- and butylparaben will represent the safest option for preserving cosmetics in the future,” she said.

“The society anxiously await the final SCCS report on the issue to reduce dissemination of misleading information on parabens,” Lodén added.

Me again –

WOW! It looks like scientists may not have been lying to you!  Of course I blame the Media…

Triclosan – Killing Germs or Killing Us?

Quick!  In what types of products do you find triclosan?

Oh, hand sanitizers, toy cleaners, deodorant, just about anywhere you would find a good cosmetic biocide.  (also used as a preservative or deodorant agent.)

And what has the media taught us?  That triclosan can be toxic when used at extremely large doses!  Deary, deary me!  Not another chemical that can kill?  Why is being beautiful so deadly?  And who created the phrase “drop dead gorgeous” anyway?

Triclosan – and organic chlorinated aromatic compound whose functional groups are representative of ethers and phenols.  It has been shown to be effective in reducing and controlling bacterial contamination on the skin.  Usually used at 0.1% to 0.3% w/w it can be used by physicians at much higher concentrations for specific purposes.

Now the world gets concerned with the multiple products that can be used daily sparking fears of overdosing.  The team at Ciba (major manufacturer of triclosan) says that extensive testing on animals and human volunteers has shown that while triclosan does circulate in the blood during use, it is 200 to 300 times less than the amount that showed any effects on the animals.  Also, when the human discontinues use of triclosan products, triclosan is no longer detectable in the system.

So, how do we call this one?  My personal opinion is that there shouldn’t be any problems with occasional usage.  I wouldn’t use it everyday, but then I’m not a surgeon or doctor dealing or touching sick people all day.  Plus, they are great for cleaning post-use sex toys!

Want to learn more?  Try these two sites.  They are lots of fun!