Since aluminium (Al) pervades our environment, the scientific community has for many years raised concerns regarding its safety in humans. Al is present in numerous cosmetics such as antiperspirants, lipsticks and sunscreens. Al chlorohydrate is the active antiperspirant agent in underarm cosmetics and may constitute for Al a key exposure route to the human body and a potential source of damage. An in vitro study has demonstrated that Al from antiperspirant can be absorbed through viable human stripped skin. The potential toxicity of Al has been clearly shown and recent works convincingly argue that Al could be involved in cancerogenic processes. Nowadays, for example, Al is suspected of being involved in breast cancer. Recent work in cells in culture has lent credence to the hypothesis that this metal could accumulate in the mammary gland and selectively interfere with the biological properties of breast epithelial cells, thereby promoting a cascade of alterations reminiscent of the early phases of malignant transformation. In addition, several studies suggest that the presence of Al in human breast could influence metastatic process. As a consequence, given that the toxicity of Al has been widely recognized and that it is not a physiological component in human tissues, reducing the concentration of this metal in antiperspirants is a matter of urgency.
Keywords: Aluminium; Antiperspirant; Breast cancer; Toxicity.
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