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Corporate Overview

The Standard – April 2016


Parabens are a class of 4-hydroxybenzoate alkyl esters that are commonly used as preservatives in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food industries due to their bactericidal and fungicidal properties.  The most common parabens used as preservative additives are methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben.  Many products will contain more than one paraben at the 0.01-0.3% additive range to guard against a wide variety of microorganisms.While parabens are not known to persist in the environment, human exposure occurs mainly through dermal absorption during application of a paraben-containing personal care product or through ingestion of food and beverages containing paraben additives.2 The major metabolite of parabens in humans and animals alike is 4-hydroxybenzoic acid.3
Although studies have shown that parabens are safe for use at low levels, there is growing concern for the estrogen-like behavior of these compounds and their metabolites.3,4 It has been observed that the estrogenic activity of parabens increases with alkyl chain length, though studies have shown that the activity level of estrogen-mimicking parabens is several orders of magnitude less than that of estrogen itself.5,6 The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently regulate paraben levels, but many consumers and companies are seeking paraben-free products due to public concern of endocrine-disrupting activity.1
To assist researchers testing for parabens, CIL has manufactured 13C-labeled and unlabeled standards of the most commonly used methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparabens. As growing concern over these compounds due to potential endocrine disrupting activity becomes apparent, CIL is also developing isopropyl-, isobutyl-, and benzylparaben standards to provide a full suite of analytical standards to assist researchers.

Featured Products

Catalog No. Description Concentration Amount
CLM-8249-1.2 Methyl paraben (ring-13C6, 99%) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
Methyl paraben (unlabeled) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
CLM-9761-1.2 Ethyl paraben (ring-13C6, 99%) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
ULM-9760-1.2 Ethyl paraben (unlabeled) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
CLM-9763-1.2 n-Propyl paraben (ring-13C6, 99%) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
ULM-9762-1.2 n-Propyl paraben (unlabeled) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
CLM-8285-1.2 n-Butyl paraben (ring-13C6, 99%) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
ULM-8287-1.2 n-Butyl paraben (unlabeled) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
CLM-9845-1.2 Isopropyl paraben (ring-13C6, 99%) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
ULM-9846-1.2 Isopropyl paraben (unlabeled) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
CLM-9847-1.2 Isobutyl paraben (ring-13C6, 99%) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
ULM-9848-1.2 Isobutyl paraben (unlabeled) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
CLM-9849-1.2 Benzyl paraben (ring-13C6, 99%) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
ULM-9850-1.2 Benzyl paraben (unlabled) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL




Methyl paraben

Ethyl paraben

n-Propyl paraben

n-Butyl paraben

Isopropyl paraben Isobutyl paraben Benzyl paraben 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid


Related Products

CLM-4745-1.2 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid (ring-13C6, 99%) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL
ULM-8251-1.2 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid (unlabeled) 1 mg/mL in methanol 1.2 mL


1"Parabens” U.S. Food and Drug Administration (accessed 26 August 2015).

2“Parabens Biomonitoring Summary” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (accessed 21 January 2016).

3Xue J, Sasaki N, Elangovan M, Diamond G, Kannan K, “Elevated Accumulation of Parabens and their Metabolites in Marine Mammals from the United States Coastal Waters” Environmental Science and Technology 49: 12071-12079.

4Soni MG, Carabin IG, Burdock GA, “Safety Assessment of Esters of p-Hydroxybenzoic Acid (Parabens)” Food and Chemical Toxicology 43 (7): 985-1015.

5Cashman AL, Warshaw EM, “Parabens: A Review of Epidemiology, Structure, Allergenicity, and Hormonal Properties” Dermatitis 16 (2): 57-66.

6Golden R, Gandy J, Vollmer G, “A Review of the Endocrine Activity of Parabens and Implications for Potential Risks to Human Health” Critical Reviews in Toxicology 35 (5): 435-58.



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stable isotope, stable isotope labeled compounds, environmental contaminant standards
CIL has been ready to help with the analytical standards critical to the task of defining and resolving any major environmental contamination problems.