Did you read this post, 2 Good Reasons To Stop Using Aluminium-Based Antiperspirants that Mukti wrote a couple of weeks ago?
I conducted my own little poll amongst friends on the subject, and I’m genuinely puzzled as to why so many people still use antiperspirants, given the knowledge we now have about the effects of aluminium and the natural and effective alternatives that are available.
Maybe it’s due to the perception out there that natural deodorants don’t work, and being totally honest I’d say some do, some don’t. (This one from Mukti Organics definitely does!) When it comes to cosmetics I’m a natural, organic girl and I’ve tried all the natural deodorants, believe me!
Perhaps it’s because for every study that finds a link between the use of antiperspirants and breast cancer, or links between aluminium and Alzheimer’s disease, scientists and cancer organisations come out in droves to debunk the findings.
Why is it so?
The Cancer Council of Western Australia says it’s a myth that deodorants cause cancer and that studies show there’s no relationship between antiperspirant use and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Cancer Research UK, “there’s no convincing evidence” that aluminium in deodorants and antiperspirants causes breast cancer.
Here, the scientists go so far as to say “…don’t worry too much about the chemicals you spray under your arms”.
The popular (and controversial) Doctor Joseph Mercola infers that anti-cancer organisations have financial ties to the manufacturers of mammogram equipment and cancer drugs. Ooooh, conspiracy theory! It’s a big claim, I know, but it’s worth pondering.
Mercola says that using antiperspirants containing aluminium not only stop your body detoxing through perspiration, he is also suspicious of the effects of aluminium being absorbed into breast tissue, citing this this study as cause for concern.
He says that while tests may show only a small amount of aluminium being absorbed with each application of deodorant (a detail the debunkers love to quote), there is a bioaccumulative effect when using it daily over a lifetime.
In 2007 this study found a significantly higher level of aluminium in the outer regions of the breast closest to the armpit than in the inner regions of the breast (close to where antiperspirant and deodorant is applied).
This study, first published online in the Journal of Toxicology in January 2012, concluded that “Our observations do not formally identify aluminium as a breast carcinogen, but challenge the safety ascribed to its widespread use in underarm cosmetics.”
I would have thought the cancer authorities would err on the side of caution and at least suggest people use a natural deodorant where possible (just in case).
It’s not like the rumours about antiperspirants causing breast cancer have just appeared out nowhere.