Aluminium in human breast tissue

J Inorg Biochem. 2007 Sep;101(9):1344-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2007.06.005. Epub 2007 Jun 12.


Aluminium is omnipresent in everyday life and increased exposure is resulting in a burgeoning body burden of this non-essential metal. Personal care products are potential contributors to the body burden of aluminium and recent evidence has linked breast cancer with aluminium-based antiperspirants. We have used graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) to measure the aluminium content in breast biopsies obtained following mastectomies. The aluminium content of breast tissue and breast tissue fat were in the range 4-437 nmol/g dry wt. and 3-192 nmol/g oil, respectively. The aluminium content of breast tissue in the outer regions (axilla and lateral) was significantly higher (P=0.033) than the inner regions (middle and medial) of the breast. Whether differences in the regional distribution of aluminium in the breast are related to the known higher incidence of tumours in the outer upper quadrant of the breast remains to be ascertained.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum / analysis*
  • Aluminum / pharmacokinetics
  • Biopsy
  • Body Burden
  • Breast / chemistry*
  • Breast / metabolism
  • Breast / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic


  • Aluminum