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Hazardous Chemical Project : Parabens

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Kiara Leydens
Period 3
Hazardous Chemical Project: Parabens

As my 6 o’clock alarm goes off, I rub my eyes open and swing myself out of bed. I stand in front of my bathroom mirror, grab my tube of concealer, and squeeze a dollop onto my pointer finger. As this finger travels through the air, I am largely unaware of the chemicals I am soon to be spreading on my skin. Many people of all ages, including young girls, are experiencing contact with parabens in their daily lives. These chemicals are put in most cosmetic products sold across the country. Many countries have chosen to remove parabens from their stores. The entire southeast Asian region, governed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), made this choice in January of
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Sabalitschka found that a chemical typically known as a paraben, with various forms to it, had high potential in protecting substances from bacteria. In addition, parabens are of a white color, with no odor, and tasteless below a concentration of 0.08%. This provided cosmetic companies the opportunity to use higher amounts of paraben concentration than previous preservatives. After Sabalitschka’s discovery, parabens began to be used commonly in cosmetics throughout the 1930’s and beyond.

In cosmetics containing water, a combination of different types of parabens was often used. Parabens are able to pass through the cell membrane, and they are often used due to their extensive solubility. The formation of preservatives in cosmetics occurs through amino acids and parabens reacting to eliminate all water in a substance, therefore eliminating the possibility of mold growth. This mold growth-inhibitor is referred to as a fungicide. After this fungicidal reaction, too few amino acids remain to allow for protein biosyntheis to occur, which causes alterations in the metabolism of microorganisms, providing carcinogenic reactions in these endocrine disruptors (Farsa et al., 2011). Endocrine disruptor refers to any chemical that disrupts the endocrine system. One of the ways this can occur is by the chemical mimicking a natural hormone that the body already produces, as seen in figure 2. This causes the body to overproduce a
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