I know from personal experience with The Wiley Protocol and bio-identical/biomimetic hormone creams that it is very important to cover the areas of our body where the BHRT creams are applied for at least two hours, in order to prevent children, our partners and our pets from exposure to them. We also learn to keep these prescription creams in secure locations, so that children and pets cannot get into them. However, parabens can be found in almost everything. The build-up in our systems must be heavy, to say the least, since we bathe, shower, use shampoo, and slather lotions and products on our bodies for sun protection and moisturization. Certainly much of it lands on or near delicate breast tissue.
For those of us using BHRT in measured doses, we would not want the added burden of something that would interfere with, or worse, become an even bigger burden when combined with our BHRT protocol. Sayer Ji adds the cautionary note that synthetic hormones from chemicals like parabens may actually be eclipsing the activity of endogenously produced (natural) hormones in our children. Given that 99.1% of the U.S. population’s urine samples (ages 6 or older) contain methylparaben, this issue has broad-ranging implications.
It seems that the EU is more watchful than the USA; according to Ji, the European regulations presently allow for the use of parabens in cosmetics at no more than 0.4% by volume. The limits in the US are much less restrictive. According to the FDA website, “The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) reviewed the safety of methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben in 1984 and concluded they were safe for use in cosmetic products at levels up to 25%. Typically parabens are used at levels ranging from 0.01 to 0.3%.” Parabens are also FDA-approved for use as food preservatives. The question is, just how much of this paraben load do we each get daily?
The problem that I have with these chemicals being added to so many daily-use personal care products is that, while it may not be problematic to use one product daily, what happens when they are all combined in our bodies? Just like how it may be OK to take one drug when you need it or are prescribed it, but if you start combining that drug with other prescription and over-the-counter medications, what on earth do our bodies do with the combinations of these chemicals?
One might also wonder what happens when breastfeeding infants are exposed both internally and externally to these personal care products, when the products are directly applied to the breasts of their mothers. There are so many questions raised here, yet we are just supposed to assume that the FDA knows the total paraben load each individual is getting at any given time.