- This study looked at the affect of parabens on breast cancer cells in culture, not cancer risk in people.
- Parabens are a chemical that mimics estrogen. There is not enough evidence to conclude that parabens in personal care products are unsafe. Nevertheless, women who are concerned can buy personal care products that do not contain parabens.
- More research will be needed to prove that parabens in personal care products can increase the risk for breast cancer.
Strength of Science: Medium
- This study provides data that suggests parabens may need to be studied further to confirm that they are safe to use as the researchers saw greater than expected estrogen-mimicking activity when parabens were mixed with a molecule that binds the HER2 receptor in laboratory-based experiments.
- It is important to note that this study was done in human breast cancer cells grown in the laboratory. More work definitely needs to be done to see if this finding extends to humans and has any affect on breast cancer growth or risk in people.
- Studies involving cells have some general limitations. One is that although researchers try to mimic the cells’ environment in the body, it is not possible to do this perfectly.
- Studies like this that use laboratory-grown cells are considered to be very early steps in the research process, and do not necessarily translate to what will happen in humans.
Research Timeline: Lab Research