Apr 172011

This post is in initial build-out status and may change.

General Information: Wikipedia entry.

Studied Risks: General health

General Health

Aluminum Evidence Summary - General - http://sheet.zoho.com

Overall Score: -2.15

Behind the Score: The score is only slightly negative because aluminum, although widely rumored to be a cause of diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s, has not been definitively proven to cause any health problems other than isolated instances of contact dermatitis or granulomas. 1 2 However, relatively few clinical studies have been conducted. Of those, a large prospective study in France that covered 8- and 15-year intervals showed Alzheimer’s incidence rose as aluminum concentrations in drinking water increased (and fell as silica concentrations rose). 3 4 However, some other studies did not corroborate those results. 5 6 Another inconclusive study showed increased risk for use of aluminum-containing antiperspirant but decreased risk for use of aluminum-containing antacids (though much higher risk for use of all antacids “regardless of aluminum content”). Consider that at least hundreds of millions of people worldwide use aluminum-containing antiperspirants. 7

Adding to this murky picture, a preliminary literature review related to cancer 8 and a study related to breast cysts 9 were inconclusive.

Warnings and Special Notes: See the research studies noted above for possible adverse effects of aluminum.

What Now? More rigorous study is warranted, since no direct effects have been proven. In the meantime, caution (as with discretion) may be the better part of valor.

What Can I Do? To address the possible links found by researchers, deodorants without aluminum (or parabens, another possibly toxic substance) are readily available and reasonably priced at health stores.

Also, if you’re a U.S. resident, you can check aluminum levels in your tap water by entering your ZIP code to view the Environmental Working Group’s database for your local area.


Mar 052011

Xenoestrogens, or artificial estrogenic compounds, are widespread in plastics (including water bottles, juice bottles, etc.), shampoos, soaps, lotions, cosmetics, dish detergents, and laundry detergents. The chemical BHA is used in many cans and can leach into the food within. While this website does not advise going without antiperspirant or soap, there are healthier alternatives that won’t steadily accumulate in your organs or disrupt your endocrine system. The Skin Deep cosmetics database is a great source for finding health-friendlier products. For example, I use an olive oil soap that has three ingredients: saponified olive oil, water, and salt. Shampoo and detergents are a bit tougher — I’ve found that Seventh Generation products are reasonable dish and laundry detergents, and for scrubbing pots I use Earth Friendly Products. There are several good options — just browse your local health food store or even your supermarket.