Antiperspirants & Breast Cancer: Part 1

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Antiperspirants & Breast Cancer: Part 1


If the title of this blog got your attention, sadly, that was the point!

Pink Breast Cancer RibbonBreast 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.

At this point in time the American Cancer Society is not aware of any evidence that shows substances in deodorants or antiperspirants can lead to breast cancer.

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, 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 shared—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!


When and How Did the Misinformation About Antiperspirants Get Started?

The infamous breast cancer/antiperspirant myth seems to have originated from a chain email back in 1999. Word travels fast on the Internet. The email went viral and as it traveled from inbox to inbox it took on a life of its own and quickly became a powerful and frightening urban legend. Below is a transcript of the email.

Antiperspirants cause breast cancer email

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 that are not even antiperspirants. Since no one is fact-checking, the misinformation keeps spreading.

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!”

The 1999 email puts forth a lot of incorrect information on which to base its claims. I would like to take the time to discuss this information. However, since 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.

Read Antiperspirants & Breast Cancer: Fact & Fiction Part 2


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