High levels of aluminum have been found in breast lumps, says a study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, and some are linking those findings to the use of antiperspirants containing aluminum.
The so-called ‘benign’ breast lumps contain high levels of aluminum, a substance unlikely to have entered the body through the diet. The aluminum in antiperspirants is used to block sweat ducts to reduce perspiration rates, and to neutralize odors from sweat.
Some research shows that those with a repeated appearance of benign breast lumps may be more likely to develop cancer, and has some women swearing off the use of deodorants and antiperspirants containing aluminum.
One cancer researcher, Philippa Darbre, of Reading University, is conducting a study of the levels of aluminum found in breast cysts, blood, and breast milk. Her research has found that levels of aluminum in cysts in the armpit area are 25 times the normal blood sample level.
“We don’t know what the mechanism involved might be, but this might be a wake-up call about the risks of anti-perspirants. Either women should stop using them or the manufacturers should look at ways of reformulating their products.” – Darbre
Claire Dimmer, of Breast Cancer UK, feels strongly that antiperspirants should not be used, and hasn’t used them herself for over 15 years.
“Aluminum is in most of them and it mimics the effect of estrogen, a hormone known to promote growth of breast cancer tumours” – Dimmer
The bodycare and cosmetics industry deny any connection between aluminum in antiperspirants and cancer, but then again, why would they want to admit that? Cancer researchers also claim no conclusive evidence between the use of these products and cancer.
Your best bet? Find a mineral-based deodorant and cut the risk. It’s not worth it.
Image: Caitlinator at Flickr under Creative Commons