Chem-tech Chemical technology

This research group aims to prepare methods for analysis of parabens with different instruments.

Parabens are a class of substances referred to as parahydroxybenzoic acid esters. The compounds have been used as preservatives in care products such as toothpaste, in cosmetics, in foods and in pharmaceuticals since the 1950s. Parabens are found naturally in many plants and are the plants' own protection against bacteria and fungi.

The most common parabens are methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl paraben. The antibacterial property also increases when two or more types of parabens are mixed.

Parabens can be administered orally and through the skin. They do not accumulate in the body but are broken down by enzymes (esterases) and secreted in the urine. Since parabens are found in many plants and are easily broken down, it is believed that the compounds are not toxic.

Two studies of cells from cancer cells (breast cancer) triggered a debate on the toxicity of parabens and other studies refer to hormone-interrupting properties.

This has led to a public debate and several panels will re-evaluate the safety of parabens.

At the Department, the work to prepare methods for analysis of parabens with different instruments has started, and parts of the project are given as bachelor theses.

Head of Research Group