Is deodorant bad for you

Deodorants containing aluminum are less stressful for the body than previously thought. This was announced by the Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) on Tuesday in Berlin. "Significantly less aluminum is absorbed through the skin than calculated on the basis of the limited data available to date," said BfR President Andreas Hensel. Nevertheless, the institute continues to urge caution with sour and salty foods and drinks in aluminum foil, aluminum grill trays or uncoated aluminum menu trays and dishes. If used improperly, a comparatively large amount of aluminum can be absorbed.

Many deodorant manufacturers advertise that their products not only combat the odor of sweat, but also prevent unsightly sweat stains under the armpits. Such deodorants are actually called antiperspirants and contain aluminum salts. These "clump" with proteins from the sweat and clog the sweat pores so that sweating under the armpits does not occur. Other, classic deodorants only fight the odor - sweat still forms.

The authorities had warned against deodorants in November

According to the BfR, it has long been uncertain how much of the aluminum from antiperspirants is absorbed by the skin. A study from 2019 has now provided reliable data for the current risk assessment. Ironically, the BfR warned of the dangers of aluminum in deodorants in November 2019 - without waiting for the results of the new study, which was about to be completed at the time, like the online magazine Medwatch reported. The scientific committee for consumer safety at the EU Commission had commissioned the study - and published a statement much earlier than the BfR, namely in March of this year, which reads like an all-clear: Compared to the quantities of aluminum, that are ingested through food, the human body takes in almost no aluminum through the skin, it says.

The BfR also draws attention to nutrition in the current communication. "Anyone who wants to protect themselves against too high a consumption of aluminum should make sure that acidic and salty foods and beverages do not come into contact with aluminum, for example through drinking bottles, baking trays, grill dishes," says the institute. This included sliced ​​apples, tomatoes, rhubarb, salted herrings, marinated meat or cheese. Whitening toothpastes also contain aluminum.

The experts recommend reducing use or doing without it altogether. Reusable bowls made of stainless steel, for example, are preferable for grilling. According to the current state of knowledge, too high an aluminum content in the body can have negative effects on the nervous system, the kidneys and the bones. According to the BfR, the total exposure to aluminum is too high in some population groups. The new evaluation of deodorants does not change that.