Toxins in Deodorants Linked to Breast Cancer and Hormonal Imbalance

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Everyone wants to smell good. In fact, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, millions of individuals worldwide are using antiperspirants (deodorant) to reduce or eliminate body odors.

This is a significant amount of deodorant being applied daily. But, this seemingly safe daily practice just may have certain consequences for your health, if you're choosing the wrong products. And, it can be fairly easy to choose the wrong deodorant since many today contain harmful toxins and ingredients.

Below you'll learn some common toxins in deodorant that could affect your health.

Common Toxins in Deodorant

1. Parabens

Parabens are a common ingredient, usually used as a preservative, found in cosmetic products and deodorants. You might recognize the "paraben free" labels when shopping for these products. A study conducted in 2004 by the Journal of Applied Toxicology, found that there is a link between parabens and breast cancer. They're said to disturb the hormonal balance of the body and to mimic estrogen. And, estrogen is said to contribute to the formation of breast cancer. There are also concerns that they may be linked to reproductive toxcity.

2. Triclosan

Triclosan is a pesticide used for reducing or preventing bacterial contamination. However, many consumer brands add triclosan to deodorants to kill bacteria. When triclosan is combined with water, it creates the carcinogenic gas chloroform. The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety conducted studies on bacteria, suggesting triclosan can contribute to making bacteria antibiotic-resistant, but there isn't any conclusive data.

3. Aluminum Compounds

The aluminum compounds found in deodorants work like a plug within your sweat ducts to stop the flow of sweat temporarily. But, your skin can also absorb these compounds. Similar to parabens, aluminum compounds can mimic estrogen, potentialy promoting breast cancer cell growth. The theory being most breast cancers develop near the outer edge, where deodorant is applied. However, no studies conclusively confirmed an increase in breast cancer risks tied to aluminum compounds.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are common ingredients found in certain personal care products, including antiperspirants and deodorants. The chemicals are used as fragrance ingredients as well as for making other ingredients more flexible. The main concern with phthalates is they can disrupt your endocrine system, particularly in males. They also affect female health, leading to early onset puberty, which is linked with breast cancer later on in life.


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