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Aluminum in deodorant can lead to the exceeding of the harmless dose of health
For some years now, an increased intake of aluminum has been linked to the development of breast cancer and Alzheimer's. Since the body is already absorbing aluminum through food, the use of aluminum-containing deodorants and other cosmetics is viewed critically. "Spiegel-Online" spoke to the toxicologist Detlef Wölfle about possible dangers.
Aluminum in deodorant could have neurotoxic effects We encounter aluminum in many areas in everyday life. The chemical element is found in rust-free building material, in light metal in automobile construction and in many packaging materials. In addition, aluminum is contained in medicines and vaccines as well as cosmetic articles. “It is naturally found in foods, such as tea, cocoa, chocolate, lettuce and vegetables. Then it is also used as a food additive by industry, for example as a color for coatings on sugar confectionery, for decorating cakes and pastries. It can also pass from aluminum pots or aluminum foil to the food, ”explains Wölfle to the online magazine. A life free of aluminum is therefore almost impossible.
Almost every deodorant now contains aluminum, whereby aluminum salts achieve an antiperspirant effect by closing the exits of the welding channels for a certain time. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) published an opinion on aluminum-containing deodorants in February this year. Accordingly, the use of such products leads to an increased absorption of aluminum. According to current studies, not much is known about the effect of aluminum absorption on the skin. In contrast, food intake has already been investigated. Various studies have shown that high aluminum doses have a neurotoxic effect in humans and an embryotoxic effect in animal experiments.
Professor Chris Exley from Keele University in England has been researching the toxic effects of aluminum since the 1980s. In an interview with the television broadcaster “Arte” he speaks of a nerve poison that can “make people sick and even kill”. High amounts of the substance would trigger encephalopathy in the brain, which would cause countless brain cells to die. In addition, aluminum has a negative effect on the bone structure and formation.
Aluminum-containing deodorants could cause breast cancer Exley is also convinced that aluminum-containing deodorants are linked to the development of breast cancer. Wölfle, on the other hand, is more cautious: “The study situation is contradictory. In various studies in breast cancer patients, the aluminum levels in the breast tissue were examined and healthy tissue compared with diseased tissue. There was evidence of a link in some of these studies, but not in others. On this basis, it is currently not possible to assess whether aluminum-containing deodorants increase the risk of breast cancer. We need more research on the topic. "
The European Food Safety Authority has set limits for the maximum tolerable weekly intake of aluminum. According to the BfR, these values could already be achieved by eating some people. "In other words: The use of aluminum-containing deodorants is above the recommended limit values," says Wölfle. “So you have to look for ways to reduce aluminum exposure. The consumer can contribute to this by simply paying attention to some things. ”
The use of aluminum-containing deodorants should be avoided, especially if the skin is injured or after shaving. Because the already irritated, injured skin absorbs even more aluminum. "I would recommend using deodorants without aluminum," advises Wölfle.
Aluminum is also contained in toothpaste. Another area of application for aluminum in the form of aluminum fluoride is toothpaste. Compared to deodorants, the amount of light metal that would be absorbed if toothpaste was swallowed was considerably less than that of applying aluminum-containing deodorants, the toxicologist reports with regard to BfR estimates.
The use of aluminum foil for food storage can also be problematic, as aluminum-containing substances can dissolve and pass into the food. Wölfle explains that acidic or salty foods should not be kept in aluminum pots or aluminum foil for long. "If you consume unprocessed food, this minimizes the chance of consuming aluminum-containing additives." Grilling meat, vegetables and fish in aluminum foil is less problematic. “You don't grill every day, but only a few times a year, so the aluminum pollution over aluminum foil is limited. However, the TWI values are about regular recordings of small sums over the entire lifetime. Deodorants have a different quality because you use them every day and for life. ”(Ag)
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