Looking at my web traffic I can see that my 8 posts about the safety of parabens has not been a huge hit with readers. I had guessed that would be the case. In the 4 years I have written this blog I have got an idea of what strikes a chord and I don’t think anyone will be surprised to hear that toxicology isn’t a hot button. But nonetheless I said what I felt had to be said in the depth to which I wanted to say it. There is one last piece of the story that I need to post up – I wanted to put on record my sources so anybody who takes issue with my conclusions can see where I got them from.
These are the main documents to which I referred in compiling this article.
In vitro skin permeation and retention of parabens from cosmetic formulations Dene Godfrey Letter to the Editor, International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2008, 30, 229–230
Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours P. D. Darbre, A. Aljarrah, W. R. Miller, N. G. Coldham, M. J. Sauer, G. S. Pope Journal of Applied Toxicology Volume 24,Issue 1, Pages 5-13
There is a very brief summary of Dr Darbre’s research at this link.
General information on breast cancer can be found at
The full text of a highly cited study of breast cancer incidence in the UK can be read online
I have learnt some other things while I have been engrossed in this subject too. Some of the most important information is theoretically freely available on the web, but most scientific journals require you to pay around £20 ($25) to access the full paper. Because of my job I was able to get hold of nearly everything I wanted without dipping into my own pocket – though even I didn’t read a couple of the papers that might have been interesting because of the expense. In the internet age, this is a bit of bizarre situation. For an interested person who doesn’t subscribe to any journals, it would have cost them around £250($325) to have do the research I have done. This really is unfortunate – especially when you consider that a lot of the work I am talking about has been publicly funded. I suppose you could have got to the British Library in London and done it there for free, but it would have been hard work. I made the decision not to reproduce any text or tables from the papers largely on the basis that it would cost money to do so. This blog doesn’t cost a huge amount to run, but the small revenues from adverts that I run don’t cover the running costs.
The upshot of all this is that anyone who does want to look into the background to a story like the one about parabens in practice can’t easily get hold of the most valuable information. They are much more likely to end up on those websites and databases that are designed to cause fear that the operators can profit from. I am not an expert on this kind of thing, but is there any way that papers of particular interest like the ones I have just been reading can be made freely available online to the general public? I think it would help reassure people a lot and counter to some extent the disinformation spread by scaremongers.