Consumer Watch: Deodorant, Antiperspirant safety concerns

Deodorants and antiperspirants come in many different styles, but they're designed to do the same thing which is to keep you from stinking and sweating. The problem for some people is with what you can't see, the chemicals that make it work.

Breast cancer and dementia are two horrible diseases, and people are concerned aluminum compounds in antiperspirants could increase your chance of getting those diseases. For this reason, more Americans are reaching for alternatives which include deodorants without the chemical compounds that make them antiperspirants.

“I have been in this industry for many years and these are like havens in the world -- how do you decide how you want to take care of your health," says Phyllis Nayle, Nutritional Product Specialist at Akins Natural Foods.

Nayle showed Fox 25 Consumer Watch some of the products that don't contain aluminum compounds. In terms of how they work, consumers should know that these are not antiperspirants. Deodorants are basically like perfumes because they are meant to cover up odor, but don't stop sweating.

Fox 25 Consumer Watch also went to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation to talk about this hygiene product's safety.

"I never criticize people for being concerned about exposure to chemicals. It is sensible and prudent to try to minimize your exposure in the environment and other places," says Dr. Stephen Prescott, President of the OMRF.

Prescott says some people may be allergic to the chemicals in traditional deodorant and antiperspirant combos, so they may need to opt for a different option. However, he says the research shows no link between using the standard stuff and any illnesses.

"I think people can be reassured that these are not dangerous to your health, and that you can use them safely particularly when used reasonably," says Prescott.

People with kidney problems cannot process aluminum normally, but Prescott says there is very little aluminum in antiperspirants, so it should not be a concern. If you are concerned and want to use deodorants free of chemical compounds, there are more of those all-natural options available than ever before.

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