Skip to main content

Cosmetic chemicals and breast cancer – University of Reading

Show access keys

Cosmetic chemicals and breast cancer

Woman using deodorantDr Philippa Darbre, from Biological Sciences, has spent more than a decade studying parabens and the effects they may have when absorbed by the skin. Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic , pharmaceutical and food industries, and can be found, for example, in deodorant-antiperspirants, body lotions, and moisturisers.

Dr Darbre's research detected the presence of parabens and aluminium in samples taken from women who had undergone mastectomies for breast cancer, although no definite causal link has been identified. Intense media reporting caused widespread public concern and the World Health Organisation, the US Food and Drug Administration and the EU undertook reviews.

Response to the public concern and regulatory actions has led to the production of paraben-free and aluminium-free cosmetic products, which are now available on supermarket shelves.

We use Javascript to improve your experience on reading.ac.uk, but it looks like yours is turned off. Everything will still work, but it is even more beautiful with Javascript in action. Find out more about why and how to turn it back on here.
We also use cookies to improve your time on the site, for more information please see our cookie policy.

Back to top