Deodorants containing aluminium increase risk of breast cancer
Long-term exposure to aluminium chloride can trigger the development of tumours which spread to other parts of the body
Women who regularly use deodorants containing aluminium salts could be at greater risk of developing breast cancer, a new study has claimed.
Swiss researchers argue long-term exposure to aluminium chloride can trigger the development of tumours which spread to other parts of the body.
But previous studies have denied there is any link - and manufacturers insist products are entirely safe.
The latest study, by scientists at the University of Geneva, suggests there may be an increased risk due to the use of aluminium compounds in antiperspirants.
These compounds temporarily block sweat glands – but can build up in breast tissue and produce some oestrogen-like effects.
While some simple deodorants, designed just to mask odour, do not contain them, most do.
André-Pascal Sappino, co-author of the study, looked at isolated human mammary cells and later replicated it in studies on mice.
The study found long term exposure resulted in tumours which metastasise - or spread.
He said there was compared people's scepticism over its potential cancer-causing properties to asbestos.
'Asbestos is cheap, has very attractive industrial potential, and it took 50 years to ban it.
'We hope it doesn't take so long to ban aluminium salts,'
He said injections of aluminium salts in mice resulted in 'very aggressive tumours'.
Also that although no formal link has been established, he would advise women - and even men - against using deodorants that contain the salts.
The oncologist added that he’d like to see aluminium salts banned in the same way asbestos was, but he expects the cosmetics industry to resist this.
“Now the fight will begin. They will act like the tobacco industry and say that proof in human beings is lacking,” he said.