[The use of deodorants/antiperspirants does not constitute a risk factor for breast cancer]

Bull Cancer. 2008 Sep;95(9):871-80. doi: 10.1684/bdc.2008.0679.
[Article in French]


Based on the observation of a high incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant adjacent to the usual area of application of deodorants and/or antiperspirants, several scientific teams have advanced the hypothesis of a possible link between antiperspirants and breast cancer. The possibility of the involvement of parabens and aluminium salts, traditional components of a number of cosmetic products, has been advanced by the same teams. In order to ascertain whether this hypothesis could or could not be confirmed, a group of clinical experts in oncology was set up to search and analyse the literature data relating to the problem raised with the aim of answering three predefined questions: 1) does it exist experimental or biological arguments supporting a potential link between the use of deodorants/antiperspirants and breast cancer? 2) Does the use of deodorants/antiperspirants have any effect on the increase in the risk of breast cancer? 3) Could a causal relationship between the use of deodorants/antiperspirants and breast cancer be accepted? The scientific data were searched systematically in the PubMed database (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez) using standardised search equations. Fifty-nine studies resulting from the literature search were reviewed and nineteen articles with various methodologies were selected for in-depth analysis. In view of the fact that parabens are generally not present in deodorants/antiperspirants, the reflection group's search related purely to the question of aluminium salts. Among these nineteen articles, many are methodologically unsound, do not answer to the questions posed or deal with the question of parabens and were therefore discarded by the reflection group. The expert group's conclusion coincides with those of the French, European and American health authorities. After analysis of the available literature on the subject, no scientific evidence to support the hypothesis was identified and no validated hypothesis appears likely to open the way to interesting avenues of research.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum Compounds / adverse effects
  • Antiperspirants / adverse effects*
  • Antiperspirants / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Deodorants / adverse effects*
  • Deodorants / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parabens / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors


  • Aluminum Compounds
  • Antiperspirants
  • Deodorants
  • Parabens