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Parabens and Endocrine Disruptors

Parabens (endocrine disruptors) may interfere with the production or activity of hormones in the endocrine system. They may cause reduced fertility and an increase in some diseases, including endometriosis and some cancers. Human health concerns about endocrine disruptors include reproductive effects, such as sperm levels, reproductive abnormalities, and early puberty. Exposure of infants and fetuses to endocrine disruptors can affect the developing reproductive and nervous systems and organs. Other human health concerns include nervous system and immune functions.

Studies at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco found that methylparaben (as well as the chemical BPA, used in food can linings and other applications) can not only cause healthy breast cells to behave like cancer cells, but also interfere with the effectiveness of tamoxifen, an important breast cancer drug.


McCormack, K. (2011, September). Bisphenol-A causes normal breast cells to act like cancer. CPMC Sutter Health. Retrieved from

National Toxicology Program. (2010, October). CAS Registry Number: 94-26-8 Toxicity Effects (Butylparaben). National Library of Medicine’s Hazardous Substance Database. Retrieved from

Tox Town. (2011, October). Bisphenol A (BPA). U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from

Tox Town. (2011, October). Endocrine Disruptors. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from

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