Toxic Chemicals in Your Deodorant
In Tim Burton's 1989
the villainous Joker describes himself as "the
world's first fully functional homicidal artist" and
attempts city-wide genocide by poisoning millions of
personal care products with toxic chemicals. When
two famous models unexpectedly die, news reporters
attribute their deaths to "a violent allergic
In the following scene of the movie, a young man
watches the newscast as he dresses for a date. He's
about to spray aerosol deodorant under his arm when he
stops, suddenly unsure about the safety of his
Then the Joker interrupts the news broadcast to address the
television audience: "I know what you're saying. Where can I buy
these fine new items? Well, that's the deal, folks. Chances
are…you've bought 'em already!"
Tim Burton's movie is set in an imaginary world, but in reality,
many personal care products actually contain toxic chemicals, and
chances are…you've bought'em already! They may not cause you to
collapse on the floor in a fit of writhing convulsions like the
victims in the movie; however, continuous intimate exposure to toxic
chemicals may lead to allergic reactions or other diseases like
Alzheimer's and cancer. Most conventional deodorants contain
aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan, TEA,
DEA, FD&C colors, and quaternium 18, among other toxic chemicals.
Check the label on your deodorant.
Aluminum is not only a common skin irritant; it is also a poisonous
neurotoxin that accumulates in the body. The World Health
Organization has linked exposure to aluminum to Alzheimer's disease,
with higher frequencies of deodorant use corresponding to higher
risks of developing Alzheimer's. Abnormal accumulation of aluminum
has been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, and
when aluminum is injected into the brains of laboratory animals, the
animals develop a neurological disease similar to Alzheimer's.
Cancer researcher Philippa Darbre, PhD, of the University of
Reading, says evidence is mounting that the aluminum-based active
ingredient in antiperspirants can mimic estrogen in the body.
"Lifetime exposure to estrogen is the risk factor which is tied most
strongly to breast cancer," says Dr. Darbre. "I stopped using these
products eight years ago."
Parabens also increase the risk of breast cancer my mimicking
estrogen, according to some experts. Researchers have found parabens
inside autopsied breast tumors. Dr. Darbre comments on the study: "Parabens
are used as preservatives in thousands of cosmetic, food, and
pharmaceutical products, but this is the first study to show their
accumulation in human tissues. It demonstrates that if people are
exposed to these chemicals, then the chemicals will accumulate in
their bodies." Parabens can also cause allergic reactions or contact
Propylene glycol is as a humectant, which means it keeps substances
from drying out, and it was originally developed as an anti-freeze.
Today it's used in paint, dog food, floor wax, and you guessed it,
many deodorants. Propylene glycol is neurotoxin known to cause
contact dermatitis, kidney damage, and liver damage. In the Material
Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for propylene glycol, the National
Institute for Occupational Health and Safety warns workers to avoid
skin contact with the toxic chemical, and yet millions of people
apply it under their arms everyday. From the MSDS: "May cause eye
irritation, skin irritation. Chronic exposure can cause
gastro-intestinal disturbances, nausea, headache, vomiting, and
central nervous depression."
TEA and DEA are hormone disruptors that are known to form
carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals. In 1997, the U.S.
Toxicology Program found that repeated skin application of DEA
causes liver and kidney damage in animals. TEA can cause contact
FD&C colors are made from coal and have been shown to
cause cancer in animals; they also often cause allergic skin
reactions. Triclosan can be absorbed through the skin and causes
liver damage in some lab animals, and quaternium compounds are the
number one cause of preservative-related contact dermatitis. About
5% of the population is extremely allergic to quaternium compounds,
which can cause asthma-like symptoms and even respiratory arrest
Dr. Samuel Epstein, MD, specializes in environmental
medicine and points out, "Not a single cosmetic company warns
consumers of the presence of carcinogens in its products."
it seems like the best way to get cancer is to smoke cigarettes, eat
processed foods, and use mainstream personal care products on a
daily basis. What's going on here? Why is anti-freeze in my
deodorant? Has the villainous Joker set up another one of his
insidious plots, or was Tim Burton trying to tell us something in
Batman? Please find out for yourself by doing your own research
about the toxic dangers of personal care products. The only thing
you have to lose is your health.
If you'd like to avoid the accumulation of toxic chemicals in
your body, or if you're allergic to conventional deodorant, try our
chemical-free, non-staining Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal, and
be sure to visit our Personal Care Products section frequently to
check for new natural, safe products.