Antiperspirants and Deodorants: Are they Safe or Bad for You?
Depending on who you ask, antiperspirants and deodorants are either toxic or safe. So which is it? According to the government, they are safe.
All antiperspirants, whether they are roll-ons, sticks or aerosols, contain aluminum (either aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY). There is a belief that aluminum is a contributing factor connected to Alzheimer's and possibly other diseases.
According to the Alzheimer's Society, there is no conclusive medical or scientific evidence of a link between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease. "Aluminum is one of the most abundant minerals in the world, and worldwide research has not found any evidence that exposure to everyday levels of aluminum is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease," states the Society on its website.
Some antiperspirants and deodorants also contain parabens, which are preservatives. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there is no evidence or research data that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer by at least one scientific study; the FDA found that this theory lacked sufficient evidence.
Since 2004, the FDA has required that all antiperspirant products containing aluminum include a warning that advises people with kidney disease to consult a physician before using the product. This warning is targeted toward patients with advanced kidney disease who may not be able to excrete the low levels of aluminum in the body that may result from the use of antiperspirant.
One its website, the FDA states "at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. However, the agency will continue to evaluate new data in this area. If FDA determines that a health hazard exists, the agency will advise the industry and the public, and will consider its legal options under the authority of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in protecting the health and welfare of consumers."
For those folks who would rather be safe than sorry, there are several products in the marketplace that provide antiperspirant and deodorant protection that are aluminum-free and paraben-free including Arm & Hammer Essentials and Herbal Clear.