Crystal Deodorants do contain Aluminum?
It is shocking but the absolute truth: Nowadays "Aluminum-Free" is probably the most visible phrase you will read while walking down the natural deodorant aisle. Some of the most popular natural deodorants in that aisle are the "crystal" deodorant stones and of course the sprays. But most people don't know that these crystal deodorant products do certainly contain aluminum!
The crystal deodorant stones are made from alum. While there are different types of alums, the most widely used form of alum used in the personal care industry is potassium alum “potash, alum, aka” - chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate.
The most common way to create potassium aluminum sulfate is through a process called hydrometallurgy. In this process, sulfuric acid is combined with bauxite ore. The reaction between the sulfuric acid and the ore creates aluminum oxide. This is then reacted with potassium sulfate to form potassium aluminum sulfate.
While potash alum does naturally occur in mineral deposits such as alunite and kalinite, the deodorant stones are manufactured in this less-than-environmentally-friendly way, shipping ore from overseas and using toxic chemicals like sulfuric acid. The stone manufacturers claim that alum is a mineral salt, "similar to that found naturally in the earth's crust." Radioactive uranium is also found naturally in the earth's crust but that doesn't mean you would want to use it as your deodorant, right?
That being said even the so famous crystal deodorant stone is a problem to your health!
The reason that most people try to avoid aluminum in deodorant is because of its possible link to Alzheimer's disease and of course breast and prostate cancer in men. While experts have not come to a consensus that aluminum causes Alzheimer's disease, there is some strong evidence of a link. For instance, in 1988 a truck driver accidentally dumped 20 tons of aluminum sulfate in to a town's drinking water. Now, over 20 years later, they are finding a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s with the people of this town that were exposed to the aluminum in their drinking water. Many people point to the fact that aluminum is found in high concentration in the brain affected by the disease itself. But while there is plenty of strong circumstantial evidence, researchers are still trying to find out if and how aluminum compounds work within the brain to create the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer's disease. Because not everyone exposed to aluminum develops Alzheimer's disease, many experts believe that some people who are genetically predisposed to Alzheimer's are particularly suseptible to aluminums. That it acts as a catalyst in the process that creates plaque in the brain. As a precautionary measure, many doctors such as the natural health expert Dr. Mercola does suggest avoiding aluminum as much as possible.
The bottom line is, that while using a deodorant stone is probably better than using a conventional antiperspirant, it's not aluminum-free and it still poses a possible Alzheimer's and breast cancer risk and contributes to toxicity in the body.