Deodorant
Overview
 
Deodorants are substances applied to the body to affect body odor
Body odor
Body odor or body odour, sometimes colloquially abbreviated as B.O., is the smell of bacteria growing on the body. The bacteria multiply rapidly in the presence of sweat, but sweat itself is almost completely odorless to humans....

 caused by bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

l growth and the smell associated with bacterial breakdown of perspiration in armpits, feet and other areas of the body. A subgroup of deodorants, antiperspirants, affect odor as well as prevent sweating by affecting sweat gland
Sweat gland
Sweat glands, or sudoriferous glands, are small tubular structures of the skin that produce sweat. There are two kinds of sweat glands:...

s. Antiperspirants are typically applied to the underarm
Underarm
-Axillary intertrigo:Excessive perspiration can result in axillary intertrigo. Intertrigo is an inflamed skin condition caused by heat, friction, and moisture. A warm, wet armpit may accommodate the growth of pathogenic bacteria, yeasts, and fungi. The condition is responsible for rash-like...

s, while deodorants may also be used on feet and other areas in the form of body spray
Body spray
Body spray is a perfume product, similar to aerosol deodorant, which is intended to be used elsewhere on the body besides the armpits. Body sprays are lighter in strength than cologne, generally less expensive, and doubles as a deodorant....

s.
Encyclopedia
Deodorants are substances applied to the body to affect body odor
Body odor
Body odor or body odour, sometimes colloquially abbreviated as B.O., is the smell of bacteria growing on the body. The bacteria multiply rapidly in the presence of sweat, but sweat itself is almost completely odorless to humans....

 caused by bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

l growth and the smell associated with bacterial breakdown of perspiration in armpits, feet and other areas of the body. A subgroup of deodorants, antiperspirants, affect odor as well as prevent sweating by affecting sweat gland
Sweat gland
Sweat glands, or sudoriferous glands, are small tubular structures of the skin that produce sweat. There are two kinds of sweat glands:...

s. Antiperspirants are typically applied to the underarm
Underarm
-Axillary intertrigo:Excessive perspiration can result in axillary intertrigo. Intertrigo is an inflamed skin condition caused by heat, friction, and moisture. A warm, wet armpit may accommodate the growth of pathogenic bacteria, yeasts, and fungi. The condition is responsible for rash-like...

s, while deodorants may also be used on feet and other areas in the form of body spray
Body spray
Body spray is a perfume product, similar to aerosol deodorant, which is intended to be used elsewhere on the body besides the armpits. Body sprays are lighter in strength than cologne, generally less expensive, and doubles as a deodorant....

s. In the United States, deodorants are classified and regulated as cosmetics
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Antiperspirants are classified as drugs
Over-the-counter drug
Over-the-counter drugs are medicines that may be sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional, as compared to prescription drugs, which may be sold only to consumers possessing a valid prescription...

 by the FDA.

The first commercial deodorant, Mum
Mum (deodorant)
Mum was the first brand of commercial deodorant. Containing a zinc compound as its active ingredient, it was developed and patented by an inventor in Philadelphia in 1888 whose name has been lost to history. It was named for the term "mum" meaning "to keep silent". Mum was originally sold as a...

, was introduced and patented in the late nineteenth century by an inventor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

, whose name has been lost to history. The product was briefly withdrawn from the market in the U.S., but is currently available at U.S. retailers under the brand Ban. The modern formulation of the antiperspirant was patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

ed by Jules Montenier
Jules Montenier
Dr. Jules Bernard Montenier , of Chicago, Illinois, was an inventor and a cosmetic chemist. He was also the founder of Jules Montenier, Inc., a cosmetics company. He was famous for inventing "Stopette", a long time sponsor of What's My Line?. Stopette's slogan, repeated at the beginning of the...

 on January 28, 1941. This formulation was first found in "Stopette" deodorant spray, which Time Magazine called "the best-selling deodorant of the early 1950s". Stopette was later eclipsed by many other brands as the 1941 patent expired.

A small percentage of people are allergic
Allergy
An Allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person's immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid...

 to aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 and may experience contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a term for a skin reaction resulting from exposure to allergens or irritants . Phototoxic dermatitis occurs when the allergen or irritant is activated by sunlight....

 when exposed to aluminium containing deodorants. Aluminium-containing antiperspirants are generally safe according to current research.

Overview

Human perspiration is largely odorless until it is fermented
Fermentation (biochemistry)
Fermentation is the process of extracting energy from the oxidation of organic compounds, such as carbohydrates, using an endogenous electron acceptor, which is usually an organic compound. In contrast, respiration is where electrons are donated to an exogenous electron acceptor, such as oxygen,...

 by bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

 that thrive in hot, humid environments. The human underarm is among the most consistently warm areas on the surface of the human body, and sweat gland
Sweat gland
Sweat glands, or sudoriferous glands, are small tubular structures of the skin that produce sweat. There are two kinds of sweat glands:...

s provide moisture, which when excreted, has a vital cooling effect. When adult armpits are washed with alkaline pH soap, the skin loses its acid mantle
Acid mantle
The acid mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of the skin acting as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other potential contaminants that might penetrate the skin. The pH of the skin is between 4.5 and 6.2, so it is acidic...

 (pH 4.5 - 6), raising the skin pH and disrupting the skin barrier. As many bacteria thrive in this elevated pH environment, this makes the skin susceptible to bacterial colonization. The bacteria feed on the sweat from the apocrine glands and on dead skin and hair cells, releasing trans-3-Methyl-2-hexenoic acid
Trans-3-Methyl-2-hexenoic acid
trans-3-Methyl-2-hexenoic acid is an unsaturated short-chain fatty acid that occurs in sweat secreted by the axillary apocrine glands of Caucasians and some Asians....

 in their waste, which is the primary cause of body odor. Underarm hair
Underarm hair
Underarm hair is the composition of hair in the underarm area .- Development and function :...

 wicks the moisture away from the skin and aids in keeping the skin dry enough to prevent or diminish bacterial colonization. The hair is less susceptible to bacterial growth and therefore is ideal for preventing the bacterial odor.

Deodorants are classified and regulated as cosmetics
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are designed to eliminate odor. Deodorants are usually alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

-based. Alcohol initially stimulates sweating, but may also temporarily kill bacteria. Deodorants can be formulated with other, more persistent antimicrobial
Antimicrobial
An anti-microbial is a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, or protozoans. Antimicrobial drugs either kill microbes or prevent the growth of microbes...

s such as triclosan
Triclosan
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It is a polychloro phenoxy phenol. Despite being used in many consumer products, beyond its use in toothpaste to prevent gingivitis, there is no evidence according to the American Food and Drug Administration that triclosan provides an extra...

, or with metal chelant compounds that slow bacterial growth. Deodorants may contain perfume
Perfume
Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils and/or aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents used to give the human body, animals, objects, and living spaces "a pleasant scent"...

 fragrances or natural essential oil
Essential oil
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

s intended to mask the odor of perspiration.

Deodorants combined with antiperspirant agents are classified as drugs
DRUGS
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows are an American post-hardcore band formed in 2010. They released their debut self-titled album on February 22, 2011.- Formation :...

 by the FDA. Antiperspirants attempt to stop or significantly reduce perspiration and thus reduce the moist climate in which bacteria thrive. Aluminium chloride
Aluminium chloride
Aluminium chloride is the main compound of aluminium and chlorine. It is white, but samples are often contaminated with iron trichloride, giving it a yellow colour. The solid has a low melting and boiling point. It is mainly produced and consumed in the production of aluminium metal, but large...

, aluminium chlorohydrate
Aluminium chlorohydrate
Aluminium chlorohydrate is a group of specific aluminium salts having the general formula AlnClm. It is used in deodorants and antiperspirants and as a coagulant in water purification....

, and aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

-zirconium
Zirconium
Zirconium is a chemical element with the symbol Zr and atomic number 40. The name of zirconium is taken from the mineral zircon. Its atomic mass is 91.224. It is a lustrous, grey-white, strong transition metal that resembles titanium...

 compounds, most notably aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly
Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly
Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly is the INCI name for a preparation used as an antiperspirant in many deodorant products. It is selected for its ability to close pores in the skin and prevent sweat production. Its anhydrous form gives it the added ability of absorbing moisture...

 and aluminium zirconium trichlorohydrex gly, are frequently used in antiperspirants. Aluminium chlorohydrate and aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrate gly are the most frequent active ingredients in commercial antiperspirants. Aluminium-based complexes react with the electrolyte
Electrolyte
In chemistry, an electrolyte is any substance containing free ions that make the substance electrically conductive. The most typical electrolyte is an ionic solution, but molten electrolytes and solid electrolytes are also possible....

s in the sweat to form a gel plug in the duct of the sweat gland. The plugs prevent the gland from excreting liquid and are removed over time by the natural sloughing
Desquamation
Desquamation , also called skin peeling, is the shedding of the outermost membrane or layer of a tissue, such as the skin.-Skin:Normal, nonpathologic desquamation of the skin occurs when keratinocytes, after moving apically over about 14 days, are individually shed unnoticeably...

 of the skin. The metal salts work in another way to prevent sweat from reaching the surface of the skin: the aluminium salts interact with the keratin fibrils in the sweat ducts and form a physical plug that prevents sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. Aluminium salts also have a slight astringent
Astringent
An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin adstringere, meaning "to bind fast"...

 effect on the pores; causing them to contract, further preventing sweat from reaching the surface of the skin. The blockage of a large number of sweat glands reduces the amount of sweat produced in the underarms, though this may vary from person to person.

Over-the-counter products labeled as "natural deodorant crystal" containing the chemical potassium alum
Potassium alum
Potassium alum, potash alum or tawas is the potassium double sulfate of aluminium. Its chemical formula is KAl2 and it is commonly found in its dodecahydrate form as KAl2·12. Alum is the common name for this chemical compound, given the nomenclature of potassium aluminum sulfate dodecahydrate...

 have gained new-found popularity as an alternative health product. A popular alternative to modern commercial deodorants is ammonium alum
Ammonium alum
Ammonium aluminium sulfate, also known as ammonium alum is a white crystalline double sulfate usually encountered as the dodecahydrate, formula Al2·12H2O. It is used in small amounts in a variety of niche applications...

, which is a common type of alum
Alum
Alum is both a specific chemical compound and a class of chemical compounds. The specific compound is the hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate with the formula KAl2.12H2O. The wider class of compounds known as alums have the related empirical formula, AB2.12H2O.-Chemical properties:Alums are...

 sold in crystal form and often referred to as a deodorant crystal. It has been used as a deodorant throughout history in Thailand, the Far East, Mexico and other countries.

Deodorants and antiperspirants come in many forms. What is commonly used varies in different countries. In Europe, aerosol spray
Aerosol spray
Aerosol spray is a type of dispensing system which creates an aerosol mist of liquid particles. This is used with a can or bottle that contains a liquid under pressure. When the container's valve is opened, the liquid is forced out of a small hole and emerges as an aerosol or mist...

s are popular, as are cream and roll-on forms. In the United States, solid or gel forms are dominant.

History

In the 9th century, Ziryab
Ziryab
Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Nafi‘ , nicknamed Ziryab , was a Black African or Persian or Kurdish polymath: a poet, musician, singer, chemist, cosmetologist, fashion designer, trendsetter, strategist, astronomer, botanist and...

 invented under-arm deodorants in Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

. In 1888, the first commercial deodorant, Mum
Mum (deodorant)
Mum was the first brand of commercial deodorant. Containing a zinc compound as its active ingredient, it was developed and patented by an inventor in Philadelphia in 1888 whose name has been lost to history. It was named for the term "mum" meaning "to keep silent". Mum was originally sold as a...

, was developed and patented by a U.S. inventor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, whose name has been lost to history. The small company was bought by Bristol-Myers in 1931 and in the late 1940s, marketing executive Edward Gelsthorpe
Edward Gelsthorpe
Edward Gelsthorpe was an American marketing executive. He used his creative skills to build markets for new products such as Ban roll-on deodorant at Bristol-Myers, Cran-Apple juice for the Ocean Spray cooperative, and Manwich canned sloppy joe sauce for Hunt-Wesson.-Early life and...

 decided to develop an applicator based on the newly invented ball-point pen. In 1952, the company began marketing the product under the name Ban Roll-On. The product was briefly withdrawn from the market in the U.S. It is once again available at retailers in the U.S. under the brand Ban. In the UK it is sold under the names Mum Solid and Mum Pump Spray. Chattem
Chattem
Chattem is a Chattanooga, Tennessee, producer and marketer of over-the-counter healthcare products, toiletries, dietary supplements, topical analgesics, and medicated skin care products...

 acquired Ban deodorant brand in 1998 and subsequently sold it to Kao Corporation in 2000.

The modern formulation of the antiperspirant was patented by Jules Montenier
Jules Montenier
Dr. Jules Bernard Montenier , of Chicago, Illinois, was an inventor and a cosmetic chemist. He was also the founder of Jules Montenier, Inc., a cosmetics company. He was famous for inventing "Stopette", a long time sponsor of What's My Line?. Stopette's slogan, repeated at the beginning of the...

 on January 28, 1941. This patent addressed the problem of the excessive acidity of aluminium chloride and its excessive irritation of the skin, by combining it with a soluble nitrile
Nitrile
A nitrile is any organic compound that has a -C≡N functional group. The prefix cyano- is used interchangeably with the term nitrile in industrial literature. Nitriles are found in many useful compounds, one example being super glue .Inorganic compounds containing the -C≡N group are not called...

 or a similar compound. This formulation was first found in "Stopette" deodorant spray, which Time Magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 called "the best-selling deodorant of the early 1950s". "Stopette" gained its prominence as the first and long-time sponsor of the game show What's My Line?
What's My Line?
What's My Line? is a panel game show which originally ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U.S. revivals. The game tasked celebrity panelists with questioning contestants in order to determine their occupations....

, and was later eclipsed by many other brands as the 1941 patent expired.

In the early 1960s, the first aerosol
Aerosol spray
Aerosol spray is a type of dispensing system which creates an aerosol mist of liquid particles. This is used with a can or bottle that contains a liquid under pressure. When the container's valve is opened, the liquid is forced out of a small hole and emerges as an aerosol or mist...

 antiperspirant in the marketplace was Gillette's Right Guard
Right Guard
Right Guard is a brand of deodorant for men. It is also a brand of shower gel. It is manufactured by the Dial Corporation unit of Henkel of North America, which acquired the brand in 2006 as a condition for Procter & Gamble's Gillette acquisition because P&G has other deodorant brands such as Old...

, whose brand was later sold to Henkel
Henkel
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA is an multinational company headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany.The company operates in three business areas: Home Care , Personal Care ,...

 in 2006. Aerosols were popular because they let the user dispense a spray without coming in contact with the underarm area. By the late 1960s, half of all the antiperspirants sold in the U.S. were aerosols, and continued to grow in all sales to 82% by the early 1970s. However, in the late 1970s two problems arose which greatly changed the popularity of these products. First, in 1977 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the active ingredient used in aerosols, aluminium zirconium chemicals, due to safety concerns over long term inhalation. Second, the Environmental Protection Agency
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...

 (EPA) limited the use of chlorofluorocarbon
Chlorofluorocarbon
A chlorofluorocarbon is an organic compound that contains carbon, chlorine, and fluorine, produced as a volatile derivative of methane and ethane. A common subclass are the hydrochlorofluorocarbons , which contain hydrogen, as well. They are also commonly known by the DuPont trade name Freon...

 (CFC) propellants used in aerosols due to awareness that these gases can contribute to depleting the ozone layer. As the popularity of aerosols slowly decreased, stick antiperspirants became more and more popular. Today, sticks are the most popular type of antiperspirant.

Toxicology

The health effects of antiperspirants are a matter of dispute regarding their extent. A small percentage of people are allergic
Allergy
An Allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person's immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid...

 to aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 and may experience contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a term for a skin reaction resulting from exposure to allergens or irritants . Phototoxic dermatitis occurs when the allergen or irritant is activated by sunlight....

 when exposed to aluminium-containing deodorants. Aluminium salts from use of deodorants caused contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a term for a skin reaction resulting from exposure to allergens or irritants . Phototoxic dermatitis occurs when the allergen or irritant is activated by sunlight....

 to the skin. After using a deodorant containing zirconium, the skin may develop an allergic, axillary granuloma
Granuloma
Granuloma is a medical term for a tiny collection of immune cells known as macrophages. Granulomas form when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to eliminate. Such substances include infectious organisms such as bacteria and fungi as well as...

 response. Deodorant crystals containing synthetically made potassium alum
Potassium alum
Potassium alum, potash alum or tawas is the potassium double sulfate of aluminium. Its chemical formula is KAl2 and it is commonly found in its dodecahydrate form as KAl2·12. Alum is the common name for this chemical compound, given the nomenclature of potassium aluminum sulfate dodecahydrate...

 were found to be a weak irritant
Irritation
Irritation or exacerbation, in biology and physiology, is a state of inflammation or painful reaction to allergy or cell-lining damage. A stimulus or agent which induces the state of irritation is an irritant...

 to the skin. Alcohol-free deodorant is available for those with sensitive skin. Aluminium is one of the few abundant elements that appears to have no beneficial function to living cells (non-essential metal). Frequent use of deodorants was associated with blood concentrations of the synthetic musk
Synthetic musk
Synthetic musks, known as white musks in the perfume industry, are a class of synthetic aromachemicals created by chemist and fragrance companies to emulate the scent of deer musk or other natural musk...

 galaxolide.

Aluminium neurotoxicity

Aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

, present most often in antiperspirants, but not usually present in non-antiperspirant deodorants, has been established as a neurotoxin
Neurotoxin
A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells , usually by interacting with membrane proteins such as ion channels. Some sources are more general, and define the effect of neurotoxins as occurring at nerve tissue...

. At high doses, aluminium itself adversely affects the blood-brain barrier
Blood-brain barrier
The blood–brain barrier is a separation of circulating blood and the brain extracellular fluid in the central nervous system . It occurs along all capillaries and consists of tight junctions around the capillaries that do not exist in normal circulation. Endothelial cells restrict the diffusion...

, is capable of causing DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 damage, and has adverse epigenetic effects. Research has shown that high doses of the aluminium salts used in antiperspirants have detrimental effects to a number of species such as non-human primates, mice
MICE
-Fiction:*Mice , alien species in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy*The Mice -Acronyms:* "Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions", facilities terminology for events...

, and dogs.

Experiments with mice applying aqueous solution of aluminium chloride to the skin resulted in "a significant increase in urine, serum, and whole brain aluminium" and transplacental passage. A 2001 study showed that the use of aluminium chlorohydrate, the active ingredient in many antiperspirants, does not lead to a significant (vs. ingestion via diet) increase in aluminium levels in the body with one-time use. The Food and Drug Administration "acknowledges that small amounts of aluminium can be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and through the skin."

An increased amount of aluminium is present in the brains of many Alzheimer's patients. A 1990 study showed an association between exposure to aluminium and long term use of antiperspirants and Alzheimer's disease with a trend toward a higher risk with increasing frequency of use. A 1998 study indicated the use of aluminium-containing antiperspirants has been linked with the systemic accumulation of aluminium which increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The Alzheimer's Society
Alzheimer's Society
Alzheimer’s Society is a United Kingdom care and research charity for people with dementia and their carers.It is a membership organisation, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

 advises that "environmental factors have been put forward as possible contributory causes of Alzheimer's disease in some people. Among these is aluminium. There is circumstantial evidence linking this metal with Alzheimer's disease, but no causal relationship has yet been proved. As evidence for other causes continues to grow, a possible link with aluminium seems increasingly unlikely."

Breast cancer

A 2002 study stated "[t]he rumor that antiperspirant use causes breast cancer continues to circulate the Internet. Although unfounded, there have been no published epidemiologic studies to support or refute this claim." The American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is the "nationwide community-based voluntary health organization" dedicated, in their own words, "to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and...

 (ACS) and the National Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health , which is one of 11 agencies that are part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NCI coordinates the U.S...

 (NCI) were very much concerned about the e-mails rumor
Rumor
A rumor or rumour is often viewed as "an unverified account or explanation of events circulating from person to person and pertaining to an object, event, or issue in public concern" However, a review of the research on rumor conducted by Pendleton in 1998 found that research across sociology,...

s directly linking antiperspirants to cancer that both put out information on the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 stating there was no evidence linking the cosmetic products with cancer. According to the ACS "studies have not shown any direct link between parabens and any health problems, including breast cancer. What has been found is that there are many other compounds in the environment that also mimic naturally produced estrogen." According to researchers at the NCI, they "are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer." "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence of a harmful effect" and "these chemicals are being directly applied daily, by very large numbers of people, and the long-term health effects of exposure are essentially unknown," toxicologist Philip W. Harvey tells WebMD
WebMD
WebMD is an American corporation which provides health information services. It was founded in 1996 by Jim Clark and Pavan Nigam as Healthscape, later Healtheon, and then acquired WebMD in 1999 to form Healtheon/WebMD...

 in an interview. But ACS epidemiologist Michael Thun argued that "even if the parabens do promote estrogen-dependent tumor growth, the risk from cosmetic use is "minuscule" compared with other known tumor promoters." The cosmetics industry insists the paraben chemicals used as preservatives in underarm deodorants and other cosmetics, which are regulatory approved, are safe.

A study published in 2003 by the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, found a correlation between earlier diagnosis of breast cancer
Breast cancer
Breast cancer is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas...

 and antiperspirant/deodorant use. A 2003 study indicated "underarm shaving with antiperspirant/deodorant use may play a role in breast cancer." A 2004 study reviewing the evidence for and against the possible link between breast cancer and underarm cosmetics wrote "Although animal and laboratory studies suggest a possible link between certain chemicals used in underarm cosmetics and breast cancer development, there is no reliable evidence that underarm cosmetics use increases breast cancer risk in humans."

2004 and 2005 studies led by researcher Phil Darbre, hypothesizes that particular substances in deodorants, such as preservatives called parabens, or bolts such as aluminium chloride
Aluminium chloride
Aluminium chloride is the main compound of aluminium and chlorine. It is white, but samples are often contaminated with iron trichloride, giving it a yellow colour. The solid has a low melting and boiling point. It is mainly produced and consumed in the production of aluminium metal, but large...

 used in antiperspirants, get into the bloodstream or accumulate in breast tissue, where they enhance or emulate the effects of estrogen
Estrogen
Estrogens , oestrogens , or œstrogens, are a group of compounds named for their importance in the estrous cycle of humans and other animals. They are the primary female sex hormones. Natural estrogens are steroid hormones, while some synthetic ones are non-steroidal...

, which stimulates the growth of cancerous breast cells. A 2007 study found that personal care products are a potential contributor to the body burden of aluminium and newer evidence has linked breast cancer with aluminium-based antiperspirants. A 2008 study stated that no scientific evidence supports the hypothesis that deodorants and/or antiperspirants increase the incidence of breast cancer. A study published in 2009 by the journal The Breast Cancer Research proposed a link between breast cancer and the application of cosmetic chemicals including phthalates and aluminium salts in the underarm region, because of their oestrogenic and/or genotoxic properties, which provides an evidence-based hypothesis capable of further research.

Renal dysfunction

The FDA warns "that people with renal dysfunction
Renal failure
Renal failure or kidney failure describes a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood...

 may not be aware that the daily use of antiperspirant drug products containing
aluminium may put them at a higher risk because of exposure to aluminium in the product." The agency warns people with renal dysfunction to consult a doctor before using antiperspirants containing aluminium.

Clothing

Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly
Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly
Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly is the INCI name for a preparation used as an antiperspirant in many deodorant products. It is selected for its ability to close pores in the skin and prevent sweat production. Its anhydrous form gives it the added ability of absorbing moisture...

, a common antiperspirant, is a cause of "armpit stains" on clothing, reacting with sweat to create yellow stains. Underarm liners
Underarm liners
Underarm liners, the main alternative to antiperspirants, absorb underarm sweat before the sweat reaches clothing. No artificial chemicals are used. The liners are applied directly to clothing. Underarm liners can eliminate armpit stains sometimes caused by chemicals in antiperspirants...

 are an alternative to deodorants that do not leave stains.

See also

  • Air freshener
    Air freshener
    Air fresheners are consumer products used in homes or commercial products used in restrooms that typically emit fragrance. There are two broad air freshener categories: continuous action and instant action...

  • Body odor
    Body odor
    Body odor or body odour, sometimes colloquially abbreviated as B.O., is the smell of bacteria growing on the body. The bacteria multiply rapidly in the presence of sweat, but sweat itself is almost completely odorless to humans....

  • Perfume
    Perfume
    Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils and/or aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents used to give the human body, animals, objects, and living spaces "a pleasant scent"...

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