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Nov 20, 2011

Spraying Our Planet Dead?!...

     We all sweat and we all stink. And most of us innocently use deodorants or antiperspirants thinking all it does is help us stay hygienic and stink-free. But latest studies show that these products are not only harmful for human health but also to the entire environment.
     Most commercial antiperspirants contain aluminum in some form - it's the active ingredient to help reduce sweating. This aluminum has been demonstrated to cause DNA mutation, which is a precursor required for cancer; although whether antiperspirants can directly cause cancer is hotly debated(Even then, who would want to take the risk!!!).Aluminum can also present issues for people with impaired kidney function.
     In deodorants, Triclosan is often used as an ingredient. Tricloslan is a powerful anti-bacterial agent that cannot be filtered out during waste water treatment and of course, that's where most of it ends up. As Triclosan is toxic to algae, it can be a threat in waterways in terms of reducing food sources for creatures dependent on algae.
     Deodorants and antiperspirdants also constitute a large number of unnatural chemicals that are new to the environment. Hence, the natural processes can not bio-degrade such chemicals.
     While not all of these ingredients will be toxic to the environment as such; they all have to be created which can often be an energy and resource intensive process.Many of them will also be petrochemicals; having their roots in crude oil. Then there's the packaging and transport to consider! The list of why not to use deodorants is much longer than reasons to use, trust me!
     Deodorants also contain a large amount of aerosols (Don’t worry, I will explain). Aerosols are tiny particles that remain suspended in the air. Not only is there a human health factor affected, but weather and global climate are also influenced. In fact, aerosols have been blamed for changing the atmospheric energy balance and changing the global water cycle.
     Aerosols affect clouds, and the result is a more extreme precipitation pattern. This goes on to play a role in local water resources, but may also cause circulation changes. The knock-on effect deals another blow to the global climate.
     Aerosols reflect some of the sunlight before it reaches the surface. With less heat, less surface water evaporates to form clouds. The result is less precipitation. Now, while you may rejoice because you can put away that awkward umbrella, consider the next step. Aerosols also interfere with the formation of raindrops from cloud moisture. So the usual small clouds no longer produce small showers. Eventually, more water builds up in the cloud and rain ensues. Rather than a short-lived shower, the rain is more intense and erratic!

     Deodorants and antiperspirants do have quite an environmental impact and also pose a health risk(A little obvious now isn't it?). I hope maybe, just maybe this little "research piece" I wrote has opened a few eyes and closed a few deodorants from spraying our planet dead....