Propylparaben, also known as nipasol, is a chemical which belongs to the family of parabens. Parabens are esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid or parahydroxybenzoates. Different types of parabens include methylparaben, ethylparaben propylparaben and butylparaben among others. Propylparaben is an odourless white crystalline powder. It occurs naturally in many plants as well as insects. However, the commercially used propylparaben is artificially synthesized. Propylparaben, similar to other chemicals of the paraben family, is widely used as preservatives. Owing to its antimicrobial property, propylparaben is used as additives in several applications such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food.
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Propylparaben is an effective microbial preservative even at low concentration. Food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals can all spoil due to microbial actions of bacteria and fungi if they do not contain preservatives. Propylparaben kill microorganisms and prevents unwanted microbial growth of bacteria and fungi. Moreover it can be used over a range of mediums such as acidic and alkaline; however it is more effective in acidic medium. Due to its low production cost, propylparaben is extensively used in a variety of health care products such as moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, deodorant and sunscreen. It is also used as additives in personal care products which include makeup items such as lipsticks, mascaras, eye shadows and foundations. Propylparaben is apparently non toxic to humans and other mammals due to which it is suitably used as preservatives in a wide range of drugs and can be absorbed in several ways such as orally and injections.
Most of the chemicals belonging to the paraben family are similar in structure and applications. Owing to toxic effects on humans, the demand for paraben based additives has reduced considerably. In 2014 the European Union banned the usage of five paraben chemicals namely benzylparaben, pentylparaben, phenylparaben, isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben. The usage of benzylparaben comprising cosmetic has also been restricted in South Asia after research studies have highlighted that benzylparaben disrupts hormonal activities. However the demand for propylparaben is at a boom because of its non toxic nature and effective application as an antimicrobial additive.
North America accounts for the largest market for propylparaben whereas Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market. Presence of international manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics in North America, especially in the U.S., has boosted the demand for propylparaben. The demand for propylparaben in Asia Pacific is increasing owing to the rise in disposable income and improving lifestyles. However, most of the countries in south Asia rely on imports to meet up the demand for propylparaben. China and Japan are the two largest manufacturers of this chemical in Asia Pacific. Despite the decreasing demand for paraben chemicals in Europe, the demand for propylparaben is increasing. Propylparaben received the approval from the European council whereas other major paraben compounds were banned owing to their toxic effects. The growing food processing industry in South America and Middle East is driving the demand for propylparaben in Rest of the World. The market for propylparaben faces serious threat from the increasing demand for organic and water-based antimicrobial additives, the latter being eco-friendly. However the key end user industries of propylparaben especially the food processing and pharmaceutical industries are growing globally, owing to which the demand for propylparaben is expected to increase during the forecast period.
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Argos international, Cameo Health Care, Anhui Leafchem Co., Ltd., Alta Laboratories Ltd and Hainan Zhongxin Chemical Co., Ltd. are some of the key manufacturers and suppliers of propylparaben.
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