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What Is Aluminium Chlorohydrate?

Aluminium chlorohydrate is often used in deodorant.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2014
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Aluminium chlorohydrate is group of chemical compounds which have several applications. These compounds are salts, made by reacting aluminum with hydrochloric acid, and they are sometimes referred to as polyaluminium chloride, depending on the precise chemical composition and application of the compound.

In water treatment, aluminium chlorohydrate is used as a flocculant to encourage impurities in the water to clump together into flakes of material which can easily be removed. The flocculant is removed along with the flakes of impurities it generates, leaving cleaner water behind. While flocculants cannot remove all of the impurities in a given sample of water, they can help significantly with clean up, and removing bulky impurities will make additional treatments easier.

Personal care products such as deodorant and antiperspirants also contain aluminium chlorohydrate or the closely related aluminum chloride. Concentrated products designed for people who sweat heavily tend to have more of this compound to help repress and control sweating so that people will be more comfortable over the course of the day. These concentrated products are most commonly used by people with hyperhydrosis, a condition in which they sweat excessively.

Some health and safety concerns have been raised about aluminium chlorohydrate, because aluminum is capable of passing through the blood-brain barrier. Aluminum is also not nutritionally necessary, so some people have suggested that absorbing it, even in trace amounts, through the skin is probably not terribly beneficial. However, numerous studies have strongly suggested that there are no health risks to using this substance.

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Claims that these compounds cause cancer have not been substantiated, despite extensive research by several organizations, and no link between aluminium chlorohydrate and Alzheimer's disease or other neurological problems have been discovered, despite the fact that it can pass through the blood-brain barrier. Given this information, these compounds are generally recognized as safe, although people may not necessarily want to consume them or use them excessively.

For people who prefer to err on the side of caution, deodorant and antiperspirant products which are free of aluminium chlorohydrate and other aluminum compounds are available, although they can be slightly more expensive. The effectiveness of such products varies considerably as well; one reason aluminium chlorohydrate is used in some many products is that it is highly effective. Those concerned about odor in particular could consider taking other measures, such as discarding old garments which house odor-causing bacteria, or making dietary changes to produce less pungent sweat.

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anon198848
Post 3

@letshearit: "Believing that something is safe because it hasn't been proven to cause damage is not the same thing as proving that is in fact safe." Exactly.

So is believing that something is not safe is in fact not the same as actually knowing that it's not safe. So, you're proving exactly - what?

Even if there is a lack of date that can conclusively prove that some compound is either harmful or beneficial to human health, I find that empirical evidence is reassuring enough to me to keep using antiperspirants.

popcorn
Post 2

If you are interested in buying deodorant that is aluminium chlorohydrate free due to health concerns I find that it isn't really any more expensive than traditional deodorant.

If you order online you can find a stick of aluminium chlorohydrate free deodorant from $3-$5 at most health and beauty shops specializing in natural products.

There are nurses now recommending that you shouldn't use products with this chemical as it does indeed pass into the blood stream, and they believe it can cause issues. Look up crystal deodorant stones for a viable alternative to regular deodorant. This product can help you stay smelling fresh without harsh chemicals.

letshearit
Post 1

I think it is best to use as many natural products as possible, and that includes things like deodorant. I find it disturbing that scientists are OK with humans absorbing something like aluminium chlorohydrate from hygiene products based on the idea that it hasn't caused any real damage yet.

Believing that something is safe because it hasn't been proven to cause damage is not the same thing as proving that is in fact safe. I feel that laboratories gamble with people's health more often than not, in the hope that their new products will be successful. This is a dangerous issue, especially when long-term use of such products has not actually been proven to be safe.

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