Parabens in stretch mark creams: A source of exposure in pregnant and lactating women.
Parabens are widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in personal care products (PCPs). Stretch mark cream is widely used by pregnant and lactating women for the treatment of striae gravidarum. This can be a potential source of paraben exposure, not only to pregnant/lactating women but also to fetuses/newborns. Little is known, however, with regard to the occurrence of parabens in stretch mark creams. In this study, we analyzed eight parabens and their metabolites in 31 popular stretch mark creams originated from various countries including China. The concentrations of Σparaben (sum of eight parabens/metabolites) ranged from 0.007 to 1630 μg/g, with mean and median values of 453 and 273 μg/g, respectively. Methyl- and propyl-parabens accounted for >95% of Σparaben concentrations. We examined the measured paraben concentrations against ingredients listed on the product labels. Parabens were listed as ingredients in those creams that contained concentrations >100 μg/g except for four samples with such high concentrations. Six cream samples that were labeled 'paraben-free' contained trace levels (0.007-9.92 μg/g) of these preservatives. Mean dermal ∑paraben exposure dose from the use of stretch mark creams (30.6 μg/kg bw/day) was well below the current acceptable daily intake value (5 mg/kg bw/day). In comparison to diet and indoor dust ingestion pathways, paraben-laden stretch mark cream may be a major source of paraben exposure in pregnant and lactating women. This study provides information on parabens and other preservatives in stretch mark creams and measures to reduce exposures during pregnancy and lactation.
Sci Total Environ. 2020 Nov 20;744:141016. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141016. Epub 2020 Jul 17. PMID: 32755791.