August 28, 2007
Image of Methylparaben

Methylparaben, designated as food additive E218 in Europe, is a preservative that inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi in many products, but it is frequently used in cosmetics. It and other parabens are produced by esterfying para-hydrobenzoic acid (hence the name "paraben").

MOTW Update:

February 13, 2017

Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalatedi-n-butyl phthalatemethylparaben, and hexabromocyclododecane are all former Molecules of the Week. Last month, Janet Pelley wrote in ACS Central Science that these and many other commercial products are principal components of common household dust. (A similar article appears in this week’s C&EN.) The alarming aspect of these findings is that all of these compounds are toxic, primarily to the human reproductive, hormonal, and nervous systems.

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