The Dangers And Studies On Deodorants

Many studies on deodorants and their assumed health impacts have been conducted, only to present ambiguous results. If you want to practice non-toxic self care, consider choosing an organic deodorant or antiperspirant.

Do Deodorants and Antiperspirants Really Cause Cancer?
Numerous questions have been raised as to whether the aluminum in many brands of deodorant and antiperspirants may cause breast cancer.

One theory states that the combination of shaving, which can result in underarm nicks and cuts, and the application of these products allow harmful agents to directly enter the blood and lymph systems, potentially resulting in the cellular mutations that lead to cancer.

The answer is unclear. According to both the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), no definitive epidemiological studies have linked the occurrence of breast cancer or other types of cancer to the aluminum found in most antiperspirant and deodorant products.

The ACS noted that a broad study in 2002, which included over 1500 participants, revealed no clear link between the use of aluminum-based deodorant products with the specific instance of breast cancer.

Another ACS study, published in 2003, reported that women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier age were more likely to have started the practice of shaving their underarms and applying deodorant earlier than older women who were diagnosed, however social and cultural factors may play a role in these results (American Cancer Society, 2010).

Parabens in Deodorants
Parabens are commonly used in antipersperants and deodorants as antimicrobial agents and preservatives. Antimicrobial agents are an important ingredient in most deodorants, as it’s actually the bacteria that feed from our sweat–and not the sweat itself–that causes body odor.

Parabens, such as butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben, have been associated with immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity and disruption of the endocrine system. They’ve been linked to DNA and cellular mutation, which is the beginning of precancerous cell formation.

Alternatives to Aluminum and Paraben Deodorants
Several alternatives to standard deodorants and antiperspirants are available on the market. One favorite among health advocates is rock salt deodorant, sometimes referred to as rock crystal deodorant.

This product simply consists of a bar of mineral salt potassium that is moistened and rolled onto the skin. It’s not an antiperspirant, so it won’t stop you from sweating. It does not mask odors, rather it prevents them from occurring in the first place by helping to control bacteria.

Some companies manufacture organic deodorants that don’t include parabens or aluminum, and are marked as safer alternatives to aluminum-based deodorants.

These companies produce other safe self-care products, such as non-toxic body wash, scented sprays and cosmetics.