A new piece of scientific research, published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry has shown that a common ingredient of deodorant may be putting you at risk for breast cancer.
Scientists from the UK have found that the aluminum content of breast tissue and breast tissue fat was significantly higher in the outer regions of the breast. This is, of course, in close proximity to the area where there would be the highest density of antiperspirant.
Other recent research has linked breast cancer with the use of aluminum-based, underarm antiperspirants. There has been a known, but unexplained, increased incidence of tumors in the upper outer quadrant of the breast which seems to support such a theory. The identification of the actual mechanism of antiperspirant-induced breast cancer has been quite elusive, however.
This UK team (Keele University and Wythenshaw Hospital, Manchester) measured the aluminium content of breast tissue from breast cancer patients at Wythenshaw and published their findings of this increase, potentially due to the aluminum content of antiperspirant deodorant.
Aluminum salts are a major ingredient of some deodorants, and these salts have long been associated with cancer, as well as other human disease. The daily application of aluminum-based antiperspirants most likely results in the presence of aluminum in the tissue of the underarm and surrounding areas.
Each of the patients in the study had tests which showed “a statistically higher concentration of aluminum in the outer as compared with the inner region of the breast." The authors also state that there is evidence that skin is permeable to aluminum when applied as antiperspirant. They have not yet discovered the direct evidence that the aluminum measured in these breast biopsies originated from deodorant.
Still, these findings and previous research on the same subject have certainly increased the sales of products for "natural" or "healthier" deodorants that are free of aluminum salts.