Sure, that deodorant may keep you extra dry, but a recent study found that chemicals in deodorants, antiperspirants and other cosmetics can actually build up in the body. British researchers detected traces of one chemical preservative in a study of women with breast cancer.
Dr. Philippa Darbe and other British colleagues at the University of Reading tested samples of 20 different human breast tumors. In every sample traces of chemicals called parabens were found. Parabens, chemicals found in deodorants and other cosmetics, are believed to seep into tissue after placed on the skin, thus accumulating in people’s bodies. This is the first test to show that these chemicals can actually build up in human tissue.
“Their detection in human breast tumors is of concern since parabens have been showed to be able to mimic the action of female hormone oestrogen,” replied Dr. Darbe. “Oestrogen can drive the growth of human breast tumors. It would therefore seem especially prudent to consider whether parabens should continue to be used in such a wide range of cosmetics applied to the breast area including deodorants.”
Others believe that the evidence is not strong enough to prove parabens are linked to cancer. Chris Flower, director of the UK’s Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association, approved the study.
“It is welcome additional information and we will want to examine the findings in detail,” Flower said. “However, parabens have a very, very good safety profile. We have an enormous amount of information which supports the safety of these chemicals and their use in cosmetics.”
Other British scientists plan to examine the findings and will perform further research to determine the source of the chemicals found in the breast tumor samples and their possible connection to cancer.