More and more companies have banned parabens in their products, and with good reason. Though the jury is still out on the effect these compounds could have on human bodies, their possibility as a pollutant in waterways across the globe is an absolute concern for us all.
Parabens are in a slew of products, mainly cosmetics, as they extend their shelf life. When people using such products clean their faces and hair, they wash these molecules down the drain. From there, wastewater is funneled into septic tanks, treatment plants, or even used as grey water (when wastewater from homes is reused for safe actions such as watering gardens).
The problem is, sometimes parabens don’t get filtered out. They’ve been detected around the world in places like Japan, Spain, and the United States. And because parabens have been known to mimic hormone function, researchers fear ecosystems will be thrown out of whack if high paraben concentrations start to change how species behave, which, why wouldn’t they?
This is why it is important to check labels and make sure you’re not sending parabens down the drain and into our delicate waterways. Methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben or isobutylparaben are all types of parabens to watch out for. An easy trick is to be wary of the ending “ben” found in ingredient lists. If you see these on the label of your products, you might want to think twice about using it. There are plenty of paraben-free options to explore, from organic skin care, to vibrant lip and nail colors, to earth-friendly brush cleaners.
We are all responsible for taking care of our earth; from our water, our land to our air. It all starts with our daily choices, so if you have the choice, choose wisely!