Aluminium in Deodorants/Antiperspirants NOT Linked to Cancer

Today’s Medium article will address the false claim circulating around online that aluminium deodorants are linked to cancer, this article will focus on the available scientific evidence and other aspects. So without further ado, let’s get into today’s article.

Dove range of antiperspirants

➡️ The Scientific Evidence

The first point of call regarding studies is answering the first question: “Does the use of antiperspirants increases the risk of breast cancer?” The answer is well documented in the Evidence-Based Practice IWW Science Journal [1] within the first sentence of “Probably not”. Furthermore, the study states “The use of antiperspirants does not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer and may even dreaded the risk.”

A conclusion from a Prospective Randomized Noninferiority Trialwithin the Science journal RedJournal [2] stated: “No evidence was found to prohibit deodorant use (notwithstanding the use of an antiperspirant with aluminium) during RT for breast cancer.”

A robust review study which was published in ScienceDirect [3] stated: “There is limited evidence that parabens, aluminium, and sulfates used in personal care products pose a health risk. There is evidence that avoidance of parabens has resulted in an epidemic of allergic contact dermatitis to isothiazolonine preservatives."

A positive note from a Randomised Controlled Trial published in RedJournal [4] found no increase in skin side effects with the use of deodorants during breast radiation. The study looked at aluminium-based antiperspirant use in women receiving beam radiotherapy in treatment for breast cancer. The conclusion of this RCT stated: “This evidence supports that in this particular population, there is no purpose to restrict these women from using antiperspirants during their treatment, and the decision to use an antiperspirant or not in this setting should be left to the discretion of the patient.”

A peer-reviewed study from the scientific search engine Pubmed [5], yielded a study that found no support for the hypothesis that antiperspirant use increases the risk for breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), these assertions (aluminium causing cancer) are largely untrue, and there are no strong epidemiological studies or scientific evidence to support them. [6]

Scientists have researched and studied a potential association via epidemiological data whether a relationship exists between deodorants and antiperspirants to breast cancer. The study was published in The Journal of the National Cancer Insitute, which stated the following: “To our knowledge, this is the only epidemiologic evidence pertaining to a possible association of the risk for breast cancer with use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants, and our results provide no indication that such a relationship exists.”

A 2006 study from Iraq [7] found that “The use of antiperspirants had no association with the risk of breast cancer, while family history and oral contraceptives use were found to be associated.”

References: [1] https://journals.lww.com/ebp/Citation/2019/06000/Does_the_use_of_antiperspirants_increase_the_risk.23.aspx
[2] https://www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(09)00016-9/fulltext
[3] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0190962221019447
[4] https://www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(11)03661-3/fulltext
[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12381712/
[6] https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/chemicals/antiperspirants-and-breast-cancer-risk.html
[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17037719/

➡️ Meta-analysis & Systematic Review

A meta-analysis study about occupational exposure to aluminium stated: “The findings of the present meta-analysis do not support a causative role of aluminium in the pathogenesis of AD.” The study [1] was published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine science journal from IWW.

A large systematic review from 2014 [2] reviewed more than 460 studies addressing the potential health risks of aluminium products. It concluded there was no link between the use of aluminium-containing antiperspirants and an increased risk of breast cancer.

A meta-analysis study published in the Radiotherapy & Oncology section of the GreenJournal [3] stated: “We have found no evidence that deodorant adversely affects BC (breast cancer) treatment.”

Reference: [1] Fulltext: https://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2015/08000/Occupational_Exposure_to_Aluminum_and_Alzheimer.9.aspx
[1] Pubmed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26247643/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997813/
[3] https://www.thegreenjournal.com/article/S0167-8140(12)00371-4/fulltext

➡️ Other studies

An experimental intervention study published to the Karger [1] science journal has found that human skin absorbs very little of any aluminium when applied from deodorants/antipersprants.

In regards to how much aluminium the skin absorbs from spray application ranges from 0.01–0.06 percent, according to a literature review study published in the Aerzteblatt [2] science journal. The results from this study when promoting associations of spray and breasts cancer states: “The contention that the use of aluminum-containing antiperspirants promotes breast cancer is not supported by consistent scientific data.”

The use of sprays which contain aluminium also do very little or anyting at all to levels of axillary skin reactionm when a person undergoes radiation therapy for breast cancer. The conclusion of this Randomised Control Trial study [3] states: “We found no evidence that the use of either aluminum-containing or non-aluminum containing deodorant adversely effects axillary skin reaction during conventionally fractionated radiation therapy for breast cancer.” The data comes from 333 participants in hospital who were randomised between March 2011 and April 2013.

References: [1] https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/502239
[2] https://www.aerzteblatt.de/int/archive/article/193516
[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25194668/

➡️ Conclusion

A very robust conclusion to the claim of sprays having association to cancer/breast cancer is truly null & void, the scientific consensus of evidence available does not suggest any association at all, so it’s very safe for you to use deodorant/antiperspirants without being scared.

💥 Thanks for reading, Lawrence. Please consider a small contribution, in the form of a beer as all articles are created in my small amount of spare time: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/LawrenceRob

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Lawrence Robinson

Passionate about evidence-based scientific information and tackling falsehoods that thrive on social media.