Parabens persist

Tabloid scare stories and sensationalist emails concerning a wholly unproven link between parabens in underarm hygiene products and female breast cancer were bolstered again this month. A small study showed that of samples from 40 breast cancer patients all contained small quantities of these organic preservatives. The study did not analyse samples from non-patients as controls. Moreover, given that some of the women had never used underarm products yet still showed parabens in their samples suggests not that breast cancer is linked to these products but that they are simply ubiquitous. Epidemiological studies dating back to the early 2000s have shown no link and other studies have demonstrated that parabens are almost always present in urine samples tested.