Frequently asked questions regarding the BfR's reassessment of aluminium in antiperspirants from 20 July 2020
BfR FAQ of 14 August 2020
The BfR assesses aluminium because the metal can be detrimental to our health: having concentrations of aluminium in our body that are too high has negative effects on the nervous system and can damage the kidneys and bones. Aluminium occurs in food, drinking water, food additives, food contact materials, medicines and cosmetics, among other things.
The BfR assessed aluminium in antiperspirants in terms of health risks for the first time in 2014. In antiperspirants, the active ingredient most frequently used is aluminium chlorohydrate (ACH). Based on the data available at the time, the BfR came to the conclusion that for consumers, uptake of aluminium via antiperspirants is so high that the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) would possibly be exhausted just by using an antiperspirant alone. Since application on damaged skin could lead to an increased uptake of aluminium, the BfR had recommended not using antiperspirants immediately after shaving or if the underarm skin is damaged
The BfR pointed out that there was still uncertainty regarding the data and recommended carrying out new studies on the uptake of aluminium from antiperspirants. The BfR now has respective new data available. The BfR has examined these new data, carried out an updated risk assessment and published the reassessment on 20 July 2020.
- https://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/new-studies-on-antiperspirants-containing-aluminium-impairments-to-health-unlikely-as-a-result-of-aluminium-uptake-via-the-skin.pdf (PDF file,371.22 KB)
Result: According to the current state of scientific knowledge, adverse health effects resulting from daily use of antiperspirants containing ACH are unlikely.
In the following, the BfR answers questions on the different human studies on the dermal uptake of aluminium from antiperspirants.