SINCE summer season is here, many people wear antiperspirant to avoid odour and perspiration.
One of the sweat-blocking ingredients found in many antiperspirants is aluminium, an element that is also found in drinking water, cooking utensils, and antacids.
In recent years, questions have been raised about whether the aluminium in antiperspirants can be absorbed into the body and contribute to the development of breast cancer.
A 2007 study analysed the breast tissue of 17 breast cancer patients to measure aluminium content.
The researchers found that the outer regions of the breast, close to where antiperspirant would be applied, held higher levels of aluminium.
More studies are under way to find a definite link between aluminium and breast cancer (source: American Cancer Society).
No link has been found between topical aluminium chloride and neurological problems like Alzheimer’s disease.
Another common concern about antiperspirants is that they may plug sweat glands and prevent toxins from leaving the body.
This is not true as the human body doesn’t get rid of waste through sweat glands. Kidneys and liver filter out toxins.
Some dangers of aluminium, however, are very real. People without fully-functioning kidneys should be wary of using antiperspirants.
There should be a clear warning label on all antiperspirants stating that people with kidney disease should consult a doctor before using them.
DR NOORUL AIN AZAM Islamabad