Aluminum in antiperspirants - health hazard

by Dietmar Stattkus (comments: 0)

Aluminum in antiperspirants - health hazard

At regular intervals, discussions about whether cosmetic products that contain aluminium rise breast cancer occur in the media. Deodorants and antiperspirant also belong to these kinds of products with light metal that are available on the market and promise to bring sweat-free phases under the armpits.

But aluminium has a bad name – but this doesn’t count for cosmetic products only, but also for medication and even groceries – to develop a toxicologic effect when taking an overdose. Approximately 2/3 of all antiperspirant contain aluminium, often in the form of chlorine compounds, the so-called aluminiumchlorhydrate (often between 3 and 7% on average).

Relating to effectiveness and impact, only antiperspirants that clog the sweat glands with their aluminous components will reach the desired success. Because of this process, the so-called “protein-precipitation”, sweat only leaks slightly to the skin surface. The worriers see in this reaction the danger of rising brest cancer.

But researches, that show, that not only on human skin performed experiments, but also studies on the human body itself show, that aluminium hardly goes through a healthy skin surface. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessement in Germany assumes, that with every usage, many milligram aluminium get on the skin, but only a small amout – probably mrigrograms – get into the bloodstream.

But difficult is also the question whether shaving the armpits helps. Certainly, hair removal is helpful for people who have problems with smell of perspiration, because the bacteria can’t settle and go stale. With injuries on the skin surface, scratches or other skin irritations, there’s a potentised dangers of aluminium getting into the tissue or the blood flow.

While writing my book “Antitranspirante – Kampf dem Schweiß”, I have, within the context of enquiries, already made contact with the Federal Institute for Risk Assessement in Germany to learn more about this topic. Back then, they didn’t confirm scientific apprehension. A causal coherence between incorporation of aluminium from cosmetics and breast cancer hasn’t been documented yet. There’s a lack of epidemiological studies and clear scientific evidence. The specific mechanism of action hasn’t been completely investigated yet. Expensive researched would be in need, that have to be funded. But pharmaceutical companies won’t pay for this, because there’s nothing to earn.   

A durable usage of antiperspirants that contain aluminium should be avoided. The occasionally, situational use should be in the fore. In addition to that, I’d like to indicate once again to exercise caution when it comes to shaving the armpits and avoiding injuries. In case of skin lesions it’s very important to wait with using antiperspirant and deodorants that contain aluminium. 

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