Effects of paraben toxicity, i.e., endocrine-disruption properties, are in the focus of researchers for decades, but still – they are a hot subject of debate. Parabens are aliphatic esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid, which are widely used as antimicrobial agents for the preservation of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foods. Mostly used parabens are methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butylparaben. Although the toxicity of parabens is reported in animals and in in vitro studies, it cannot be taken for granted when discussing hazards for human health due to an unrealistic exposure -safety profile. Many studies have demonstrated that parabens are non-teratogenic, non-mutagenic, non-carcinogenic and the real evidence for their toxicity in humans has not been established. For now, methyl-, ethyl- and propylparaben are considered safe for use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals within the recommended range of doses. Regarding alternatives for parabens, a variety of approaches have been proposed, but every substitute would need to be tested rigorously for toxicity and safety.
The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that glutathione- S-transferase (GST) genotypes were associated with COPD. GSTP1, GSTM1 and GSTT1 genotypes were determined by DNA methods and GST activity spectrophotometrically in older male Caucasian Croats (non- -smokers, ex-smokers, and smokers) with stable COPD (n = 30) and sex/age matched controls (n = 60). The distribution of GSTP1 genotypes and alleles in controls vs. COPD showed a statistical difference (p < 0.05). The odds ratio of CC/CT+TT (wild type GSTP1 exon 6 vs. joint heterozygous and mutant homozygous GSTP1 exon 6) was 10.000 and statistically different (p = 0.002). In this study, the GSTP1 mutant genotype of exon 5 (GG), as well as GSTP1 mutant and heterozygous genotypes of exon 6 (TT and CT), were suggested to be genetic contributors to COPD susceptibility. Null GSTM1, null GSTT1 and joint GSTM1/GSTT1 null genotypes were not disease associated. Serum GST was not associated with GST genotypes and COPD or smoking history in our study subjects. Conclusions drawn from the study should be further supported and clarified by studies with larger sample sizes.