Antiperspirants & Breast Cancer: Part 1
If the title of this blog got your attention, sadly, that was the point!
Breast cancer is scary—believe me, I know. According to the American Cancer Society over 40,000 women will die from breast cancer this year alone and we still do not know the cause. So when someone says that they found a cause, of any kind, we “click” to find out more. But, it is simply not true!
A customer recently sent me a link to another company selling natural deodorant. She now uses our organic deodorant but wanted to let me know that if I simply took the time to warn all of my customers about the links between antiperspirants and breast cancer, like this other website, I would get many more customers. Sadly, I know that she is right.
I started Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve because of a genuine concern about the number of synthetic chemicals in commercial skincare products and the possible adverse effects these chemicals were having on us, our children, and our planet.
I believe in using natural products with my whole being, but when I read the page my customer described—I was frightened--not by the warnings, but by the indiscriminate use of misleading scare tactics used by the company to sell their products. As a breast cancer survivor, I felt angry and betrayed. It is just not the right thing to do!
So When and How Did the Misinformation About Antiperspirants Get Started?
About 16 years ago an email began circulating around that stated that antiperspirants cause cell mutations that lead to breast cancer. The explanation behind the statement was that since antiperspirants prevent us from sweating, our body has no way to get rid of toxins. Since the toxins have nowhere to go, they deposit themselves in the armpit lymph nodes where they build up and lead to a greater chance of developing breast cancer.
No one knows who started the rumor and I am sure that most people who forwarded the email did so with good intentions. I do know that numerous versions of this rumor have been posted on many websites that sell natural deodorants or deodorants that are not antiperspirants. Since no one is fact-checking, the misinformation keeps spreading.
The myth that certain deodorants cause cancer has been circulated via emails, on websites, and even in newspapers.
While computers and the internet have the power to connect us to a lot of excellent information, they also have the power to bring a whole lot of misinformation into our lives. There are many folks who still believe, “if it is on the internet, it must be true!”
This is the email, sent in 1999, that sparked the misinformation.
There is so much information to share—it is too long for one blog. So, I have created a series of four blogs and over the next few weeks, I will try to shed some light on the misinformation stated in the email above and discuss why I believe in using a natural deodorant.