For some time now, the natural health community has been leery of using deodorants containing aluminum because of a reported association between these products and breast cancer. This concern has validity, as studies in recent years revealing aluminum’s cancer-causing properties have spurred some scientists to express doubt over the safety of antiperspirants.
The public is exposed to aluminum through vaccines, antiperspirants and food additives. But aluminum is only the tip of the iceberg, because an estimated one out of every eight of the 82,000 chemicals used in personal care products and cosmetics are toxic. Since the products applied to the skin are absorbed into the blood stream, they pose a high risk to public health.
Yet our government regulatory agencies have not considered the findings implicating aluminum with cancer to be weighty enough to prohibit the use of the metal in products until the safety can be adequately assessed. So what exactly has the scientific research on aluminum uncovered? Does it raise some big red flags or are natural health enthusiasts unduly concerned? Below are the results from the studies. You decide.
Deodorant and Breast Cancer: Here is What Research Shows:
- According to a new study in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, exposure to aluminum can stimulate breast cancer cells to become more invasive and migratory. As deaths from this disease are caused by the spread of the cancer from the breast to other parts of the body, this finding has great import.
- In a recent study published in the July 12, 2013 issue of Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, researchers found higher levels of aluminum in the nipple aspirate fluids of 19 breast cancer patients than levels in 16 healthy women. The authors concluded that the accumulation of aluminum in the breast is “a possible risk factor for oxidative/inflammatory phenotype of breast cells.” In other words, aluminum makes the breast tissue environment more conducive for the development of cancer.
- An investigation of antiperspirant formulas in the January 6, 2012 issue of Journal of Applied Toxicology discovered that aluminum chloride, the main form of aluminum in antiperspirants, was capable of transforming a healthy cell into a cancerous cell. Its action is similar to that of a cancer-causing gene. Although the finding did not cause the authors to label aluminum as a carcinogen formally, it did cause them to challenge the safety of its widespread use. The most frightening aspect of this study was that the cancer effect was produced by concentrations exponentially lower than concentrations in antiperspirants and in recently measured human breast tissue.
- Clinical studies reveal a disproportionately high rate of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant where antiperspirants are applied. This fact together with the fact that aluminum is known to be capable of altering DNA led researchers to explore the relationship between antiperspirants and breast cancer. Published in the September 2005 issue of Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, the authors found the relationship to be a “major concern.” They said that given the broad exposure of the public to antiperspirants and the lack of knowledge about long-term exposure of the breast to aluminum, studies were “urgently needed” in this area.
It is clear that the fears of health conscious individuals about such products are not groundless. Cancer is strongly linked to a toxic environment, which includes many personal care products. You can protect yourself by choosing deodorants that are aluminum free. An array of natural deodorants is available on the market.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.