Monday, November 22, 2010

How safe is your deodorant?

Personal care armyImage by A30_Tsitika via Flickr
Most Americans, in seeking that clean, fresh feeling, have used a wide assortment of the numerous deodorants and antiperspirants available on the market; the numbers of which grows daily. The unwitting shopper is completely bombarded with antiperspirant soaps, aerosols, sprays, roll-ons, sticks, creams and others items crowding out the shelves in the health and beauty aids department.  To add insult to very real injury, coupon dispensers and sales reps further impede the flow of shoppers with either a coupon or  free samples.  Their aim is of course, to hook you on the latest deodorant of the day.

In seeking that springtime fresh feeling, what price are we paying with our health? Regular studies are being conducted that are raising compelling questions that need answers.  Oftentimes, the results of the study are deemed 'inconclusive' and the product remains on the market for decades before being removed by the FDA, if at all.

 In the article, "Dangerous chemical in Deodorant and Antiperspirant: A detailed review of the Chemicals, Research and Avoidance tips" an investigative look is taken at some of the more common chemicals.  I have included a summary of the results in this article.

Names too long to pronounce

Have you taken a look at some of the long names of the chemicals in these products? They are very ominous sounding to say the very least.

Below is a list of some of the more common additives that are found in deodorants and other personal care items.  Also note, that many of these same chemcials are found in foods.

Propylene glycol

I found out several years ago while selling cosmetics for a national sales company that  this chemical is found everywhere - foods, such as ice cream, lotions, hair care products as well as deodorants. Originally, these preservative were used in anti-freeze!  This chemical however, keeps products from drying out.  It can cause GI irritation: nausea, vomiting, and headache.


Commonly used in deodorants because it keeps sweat glands from secreting sweat, at least, it slows its reaching the skin surface.   These compounds can cause changes in estrogen receptors in the breast, which can  cause changes in breast cell tissue.

It is also being connected with neurological disease such as Alzheimer's disease.


There is a group of chemicals that fall in this category they are:

methylparaben    ethylparaben
propylparaben     natylparaben

All of these chemicals can bring about estrogenic changes in breast tissue as well.  Possible link to breast cancer have been suggested, although not proven

FD&C Colors

These chemicals have been around for a number of years and have been present in  foods for decades.  It has been suggested that they are carcinogenic, but, apparently the linked has not been proven to the extent necessary for the FDA to remove them, as foods and personal care items still contain them.  Examples are: candies, jellos and personal care products. 


These chemical adjust the ph in products and can also cause liver and kidney damage. 

Incidentally, they are banned in Europe.

In summary

It often takes the FDA years to remove a product form the market.  In the meantime, millions could be affected by the dangerous and adverse reactions that these chemicals are suspected of causing. Caveat emptor.

Decide for yourself what you think is safe for yourself and family.
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