It has long been surmised that the aluminum compounds used in many antiperspirant deodorant products may be a cause of cancer. But a new study out of Switzerland confirms this to be true, showing that aluminum chloride, a common additive in antiperspirant deodorant that blocks moisture, exerts an estrogen-like effect that directly promotes the growth and spread of breast cancer cells.
This groundbreaking research from the University of Geneva looks at aluminum chloride’s role in temporarily blocking sweat glands in the underarm. The toxic compound essentially lodges itself inside the skin in order to accomplish this, and over time builds up in breast tissue. Mimicking the effects of estrogen, aluminum chloride in the long term acts as fuel for the formation of cancer tumors, helping them to form and spread throughout the body.
Study co-author Dr. Andre-Pascal Sappino, Ph.D., and his colleagues evaluated the effects of aluminum chloride both on isolated human mammary cells and in test mice to come to this conclusion. They observed that long-term exposure to the chemical not only spurred on cancer tumors but also the metastization, meaning their proliferation throughout the body.
Aluminum chloride is so harmful to the body, in fact, that the researchers determined it to be equally as threatening to health as asbestos, if not more so. Asbestos, of course, is the name for that infamous class of fibrous minerals that in years past were used in various industrial applications, including in building materials. Asbestos has since been banned after it was determined to be a primary cause of mesothelioma and other forms of cancer.
“Asbestos is cheap, has very attractive industrial potential, and it took 50 years to ban it,” Dr. Sappino told The Local. “We hope it doesn’t take so long to ban aluminum salts.”
Antiperspirant chemical triggers ‘very aggressive tumors’
Dr. Sappino, who serves as both a professor and oncologist, advises women and men alike to immediately stop using antiperspirant deodorant products that contain aluminum for their own safety. Because of how aggressively the chemical was shown to provoke cancer tumors in mice, Dr. Sappino and his colleagues see the issue as prudent.
There are many aluminum-free deodorant options out there, after all, including several varieties available in the Health Ranger Store. It’s far more worth it to deal with a small amount of moisture than it is to deal with a potential cancer diagnosis and all that’s involved with treating it — it’s pretty much a no-brainer.
“I think we should avoid all deodorants containing aluminum salts,” Dr. Sappino told the media, admitting that his recommendations will likely trigger major industry backlash. “Now the fight will begin. They will act like the tobacco industry and say that proof in human beings is lacking.”
Earlier studies have found a similar link between aluminum salts in antiperspirant deodorant products and cancer, hence why there’s been considerable debate over at least the past 50 years concerning their use. Evidence also exists to suggest that aluminum salts are a major contributor to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, as they can cross the blood-brain barrier and accumulate over time in the brain.
A 2011 review published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease admits plainly that aluminum “may be the single most aggravating and avoidable factor” associated with the brain disease, though it also called for further research to solidify this link. In the meantime, a good rule of thumb is to simply avoid all antiperspirant deodorant products that contain aluminum and instead opt for safe, natural alternatives, even if they come with a little more wetness.