Anti-perspirants: No sweat, all tears?

Here’s a draft of my open letter to Asin Thottumkal.
Dear Asin Thottumkal,

I assure you I’m not a fan but still rejoice in the fact that a star from the South can make a confident debut in Bollywood. But now I hear that the secret behind your confidence is dry underarms. Why let sweat take the sheen out of your confidence, you breezily say to the camera in an 
ad for Sure Deo. Lass, what’s shocking is not only that the ad is factually incorrect (it’s an anti-perspirant, not a deodorant) but that an educated girl like you is endorsing a product that heightens the risk of breast cancer in the user.

I realise you’re being paid big bucks and will say pretty much anything your sponsor tells you to. But I urge you to think again. 

Here’s why. Our bodies are designed to purge out toxins everyday. Certain sites on our bodies are crucial for this. Behind our knees, behind our ears, groin area and our armpits. Anti-perspirants, as the name suggests, stop our bodies from performing a most basic and healthy function. Rudely prevented an outlet, the toxins can’t just evaporate into thin air. They fester and remain in our bodies, depositing themselves in lymph nodes under the armpits. Nearly all breast cancer tumours occur in this area…. the lymph nodes and the upper, outside quadrant of the breast area are neighbours. The risk of cancer increases when anti-perspirants are used directly after shaving or using an epillator. The skin is smarting, and tiny, imperceptible nicks in your skin allow the toxins to rush in 
Is it really worth it? 
   I see my grandmother battling cancer today. It was detected in her breasts 3 years ago, she bravely underwent a removal surgery and then radiation. Today, the cancer has spread to her bones. My grandmother is 85 and has probably rarely or never used any harsh perfumes, deos and anti-perspirants in her lifetime. Not just because they weren’t available, but because she believes in simple living, high thinking.  So not all breast-cancer cases are brought on by using anti-perspirants. But I wouldn’t be surprised if all anti-perspirant users stand a high chance of tumours. My mother and I have sworn to veer clear of the stuff.  I don’t think we’ll ever regret it.

(I want to thank my friend Madhumita Das for sharing some of these facts with me in a recent e-mail. It confirmed what I had long been thinking about)


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Cinnamin
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 16:11:53

    Thanks for sharing. I didn’t know anti-perspirants were so dangerous!


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