Determination of parabens in serum by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry: Correlation with lipstick use

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Parabens are the most widely used preservative and are considered to be relatively safe compounds. However, studies have demonstrated that they may have estrogenic activity, and there is ongoing debate regarding the safety and potential cancer risk of using products containing these compounds. In the present work, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was applied to determine methylparaben and propylparaben concentrations in serum, and the results were correlated with lipstick application. Samples were analyzed using liquid-liquid extraction, followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The validation results demonstrated the linearity of the method over a range of 1–20 ng/mL, in addition to the method's precision and accuracy. A statistically significant difference was demonstrated between serum parabens in women who used lipstick containing these substances compared with those not using this cosmetic (p = 0.0005 and 0.0016, respectively), and a strong association was observed between serum parabens and lipstick use (Spearman correlation = 0.7202).

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