Antiperspirants & Breast Cancer

ANTIPERSPIRANTS AND BREAST CANCER

Antiperspirant ingredients and breast cancer

Antiperspirants are effective and safe to use on a regular basis. Their safety is evaluated by manufacturers and some regulatory authorities have reviewed the available safety information before they are made available to the public.

Some newspaper or internet stories warn that antiperspirant use may be linked to breast cancer, however, cancer experts, charities and health authorities assert that there is no credible evidence to support this. The European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety’s opinion (2014) is that there plausible evidence that using antiperspirants can lead to levels of aluminium that would be harmful to health:

“Aluminium in the levels reached with cosmetic use is unlikely to be carcinogenic…There is no plausible evidence that the use of aluminium containing cosmetics and skin care products can increase the risk of breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases”.

Reference: SCCS & EU Commission 2014: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_food-safety/dyna/enews/enews.cfm?al_id=1474

  • Breakthrough Breast Cancer, UK

"There is no reliable scientific evidence to suggest a link between deodorant or antiperspirant use – both on their own and in combination with shaving – and breast cancer. A large number of scientific studies have investigated breast cancer risk factors, however there is no reliable evidence to suggest deodorant or antiperspirant use are two of them." - Dr Sarah Rawlings, Head of Policy and Information.

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  • Cancer Research UK

"Various media reports have claimed that antiperspirants increase the risk for breast cancer, but the only scientific study which has looked directly at this question did not observe any association between antiperspirant use and breast cancer risk." - Dr Tim Key.

  • National Cancer Institute, USA

"Scientists at the National Cancer Institute are not aware of any research to support a link between the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food, cosmetics, medicines, and medical devices, also does not have any evidence or research data to support the theory that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer. Thus, there appears to be no basis for this concern."

  • US Breast Cancer Alliance, USA

"There is no experimental or epidemiological evidence to support (a link between breast cancer and antiperspirants). Chemicals in products such as antiperspirants are tested thoroughly to assure their safety. Also, the claims about toxin accumulation are not consistent with scientific concepts of cancer development."

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, USA

"The absence of any observed associations may help alleviate the concern of many that use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants could alter their risk for breast cancer."

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