i did some reading on this a while back. not to scare you but i have read that they can cause cancer...here is an excerpt:
"Early this year the media reported that English researchers identified
parabens in samples of breast tumors. Parabens (alkyl esters of
p-hydroxybenzoic acid) are widely used as antimicrobial preservatives
in thousands of cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceutical
products, and food. There are six commonly used forms (Methylparaben,
Ethylparaben, p-Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, n-Butylparaben and
Benzylparaben) and it is estimated that they are used in at least
13,200 cosmetics products. According to the lead researcher of the
recent study, Philippa Darbre, an oncology expert at the university of
Reading, in Edinburgh, the chemical form of the parabens found in 18 of
the 20 tumors tested indicated that they originated from something
applied to the skin, the most likely candidates being deodorants,
antiperspirants, creams, or body sprays."
I dont know how reliable the reasearch is...ugh, so many things are said to cause cancer...if you can, i guess it would be best to avoid
From what I know about them, they are hormone disrupters, and it is believed they can cause cancer. This is why they show up in areas where hormones effect (i.e. breast tissue). They are still in a lot of products, but there are many products out there without them now.