Why are we even talking about Aluminum in deodorant?
Deodorant is one of the most common day to day item that everyone use. But, since past sometime there is talk that going on about the effects it can have on our body.
You visit any forum and you’ll see comments after comments in which people are describing it as bad. But, is there some basis to these arguments.
Although, you might have read a million times about the health hazards associated with the aluminium based antiperspirants/deodorants. But, you surely never came across something which can be a solid evidence.
First of all, why do we have aluminum in deodorant in the first place?
The main purpose of Aluminum is to act as a plug. When you apply Aluminum based deodorant, the Aluminum is slowly absorbed into the skin. It blocks the openings of the sweat glands, which of course cause the flow of sweat.
So, in most of the cases, the more Aluminum a deodorant has the better it is in sweat protection.
So, the antiperspirants which are considered very effective in stopping the sweat, is nothing, but a deodorant with more amount of Aluminum in it.
Antiperspirant have about 15% active ingredient — Aluminum compounds, in it. While the normal deodorant contains 2-5% aluminum. Of course, the quantity varies from company to company and from product to product.
As, you can see in the graph above, clinical strength deodorants have the most amount of Aluminum — 20% — in them. That is why, they are the ultimate solution for people with serious sweating problem.
Problems associated with aluminum:
- Risk of Breast cancer.
- Risk of liver failure.
- Stopping of natural perspiration.
- Alzheimer’s disease
We will talk about each of these problem one by one. Let us start with the least severe. As we have discussed, aluminum causes the natural sweat flow of the sweat, which is considered harmful by many.
First of all, any things which messes up with the natural working of the body is harmful. But, the question here is, to what extent?
To understand the harm it can cause, we first have to understand why do we sweat.
There are primarily two reasons for perspiration:
- To maintain the body temperature.
- To eliminate toxins.
When you exercise or when you body temperature increases due to some reason. The body’s sweat gland releases sweat to lower the body temperature. The science behind this is that, when water evaporates it absorbs the heat from the surroundings.
Now, when you apply deodorant or antiperspirant to your underarms you certainly stop the sweating around that area. But, the rest of you body can perspire naturally and your body is still very much able to regulate the temperature.
Now, removal of toxins. Sweat is just one of the many medium through which our body eliminates the toxic substance from our body. The other ways are, urine, stool and even air. Perspiration takes up very small part of this system. So, you see, blocking sweat on your underarms poses no threat at all.
So, unless you apply the deodorant to a very large area of your body, it won’t be a major concern for you.
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Aluminum in deodorant can cause breast cancer?
The idea behind this theory is that the compounds of the aluminium can act as the Estrogen when absorbed through the skin. And, increase amount of Estrogen is linked to breast cancer.
And, in a study, it was found that the level of aluminium in the area of the breast which is closer to the underarms was higher in the female who used antiperspirants.
In spite of the credible theory mentioned above there is no solid scientific evidence that links aluminium with cancer.
A study was conducted on a group of women with and without breast cancer. And, it was found that the women who started shaving their underarms and using antiperspirant before 16 had more chance of getting breast cancer.
But, there are many other studies done on the link between antiperspirant and breast cancer. Most of them suggests no directly link between the two. Now, there are other factors that are also involved. Like, genetics. If you have someone in your family suffering from breast cancer, the chances of you getting cancers increases.
There are still millions of people who use Aluminum based deodorant/antiperspirant. If this theory was right, there should be more evidence, than there are today.
If you are already suffering from breast cancer or you are a survivor, then it is best to use products deodorant without Aluminum. But, other than that, there is no need to avoid it.
Aluminum in deodorant can cause Alzheimer’s Disease?
Let me tell you, people have been linking Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease for more that 40 years. So, it is not something new. Earlier, it was believed that people who cooked in pans and cookers made up of Aluminum are prone to Alzheimer’s Disease.
But, there was no concrete proof of it. Some studies were conduct, which we in favour of this theory and there were many study results that were against this theory.
A particularly important study which was conducted people who are exposed to large amount of Aluminum, because of their jobs. But, nothing came out of it. Now days, there are very few people who link aluminum with Alzheimer’s Disease, rest of them have dropped this theory a long time back.
You should be aware of the fact that our body use Aluminum — although in small amount, just like other metals like, iron. And, our body is quite capable of removing excess Aluminum with the help of the liver.
I would finish by saying, yes, there are some evidence stating the health problems cause by aluminum in deodorant. But, the chances are very slim. Like, if you cross a road, there are surely some chance that a car will hit you, but that doesn’t mean you will never cross a road in your life.
Secondly, most of the people don’t have very serious sweating problems. For such people, aluminum free deodorants or natural deodorants are more than enough to control sweat and body odor.
In any case, it is better to use a deodorant with less amount of aluminum in it, as it takes hard work by our body to eliminate the aluminum.