Endocrine Disruptors in Deodorants

LiaRikiWith temperatures in the 90s, today’s post is aptly timed. Our latest installment about endocrine disruptors in personal care products comes from Lia (left) and Riki (right) who reviewed the top ingredients in deodorants. This is the fourth in a series from a small survey of UMass students’ favorite personal care products and the endocrine disruptors found within the top brands in each category. The project was part of the co-listed spring course, Marketing/Biology 597.

When analyzing the contents of these chemicals, we started with the endocrine disruptor exchange database (TEDX)  to narrow down which ingredients were already considered to be risks. Top product ingredients Aluminum and Triclosan were in this database.

Aluminum is an active ingredient that is slightly regulated by the FDA which is why users are advised not to apply deodorant to broken skin or more than once a day. Unfortunately, lots of women apply deodorant more than once a day. Worse, it is often applied after shaving (aka higher potential for broken skin). Even though there have not been definitive conclusions regarding a causal link between aluminum exposure and human health risks, studies have identified a correlation between women with breast cancer and the levels of aluminum in their body tissue.

Another ingredient we found was triclosan which is used as an antibacterial agent. It is an endocrine disruptor that has the potential to directly affect the estrogen receptors, and subsequently, human breast cancer cells! It has also been found to affect placental development and fetal growth. Unfortunately, triclosan is in lots of personal care products.

As deodorant usage is high during these summer months, keep your eyes peeled for the ingredient labels of your favorite brand and limit your exposure to these chemicals.

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