A preliminary study of the dermal absorption of aluminium from antiperspirants using aluminium-26

Food Chem Toxicol. 2001 Feb;39(2):163-8. doi: 10.1016/s0278-6915(00)00118-6.


Aluminium chlorohydrate (ACH), the active ingredient in many antiperspirants, was labeled with the radioisotope 26Al. The labeled ACH was then fractionated into about 100 samples using gel filtration chromatography. Each fraction was analyzed for 26Al and total aluminium content. Aluminium-26 was only detected in the fractions that also contained aluminium, which verified that the ACH was uniformly labeled. 84 mg of the labeled ACH was then applied to a single underarm of two adult subjects with blood and urine samples being collected over 7 weeks. Tape-stripping and mild washings of the skin were also collected for the first 6 days. Results indicate that only 0.012% of the applied aluminium was absorbed through the skin. At this rate, about 4 microg of aluminium is absorbed from a single use of ACH on both underarms. This is about 2.5% of the aluminium typically absorbed by the gut from food over the same time period. Therefore, a one-time use of ACH applied to the skin is not a significant contribution to the body burden of aluminium.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aluminum / administration & dosage
  • Aluminum / pharmacokinetics*
  • Aluminum / urine
  • Cosmetics / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Radioisotopes
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Skin Absorption*


  • Cosmetics
  • Radioisotopes
  • Aluminum