Thursday, 6 September 2007

breast cancer and deodorants

.....from the Daily Express, Monday September 3,2007
Victoria Fletcher

British scientists have uncovered a fresh connection between deodorants and breast cancer. A study has found that women who had surgery for the disease had high levels of aluminium in their breast tissue.

Researchers fear the metal could have been emitted from spray-on and roll-on deodorants.

A study to be published in the November issue of the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry examined the breast tissue of 17 patients who underwent mastectomies at Wythenshaw hospital, Manchester.

The team saw traces of aluminium in the samples despite the fact that it is not normally found in the body. Levels of the metal increased significantly near to the armpit.

Keele university’s Dr Chris Exley, who led the study, said it was possible aluminium salts used in deodorant could be to blame.

He said: “We found a wide variation in concentrations of aluminium. Some patients had low concentrations while others had quite high concentrations. We don’t know that aluminium originated from anti-perspirants but one can put two and two together and make a guess on that. The next work will be to see if the aluminium is coming from anti-perspirants or elsewhere.”

Dr Exley has already raised concern about the aluminium content of sun creams, fearing it could put users at increased risk of developing skin cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Aluminium is added to deodorants to prevent sweating. The metal has been shown to trigger cancer in animals but it is not known whether or not this could cause the same problems in humans.

Dr Exley, who received funding from breast cancer charity Genesis, said: “There are some non-aluminium-based anti-perspirants but they don’t work as well. Myth and legend tells us that aluminium is safe but reality shows us not that it isn’t safe but that we don’t know. Not knowing is not a reason for assuming safety.”

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