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Top 10 Reasons why Deodorants are Bad for Environment

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Nowadays deodorants are must in have cosmetic for almost every age group. Deodorants are the substance used to overcome body odor caused by bacterial growth. Deodorants are available in market in two forms- Spray and Roll on. Beside this a subgroup of deodorants is also available in market, Antiperspirants. Deodorants tend to mitigate the sweating odor whereas antiperspirants eliminate the sweating effect. The former is a cosmetic industry product and the later comes under the category of drug. Nowadays, most of the products are available in market with the combined effect of two. Since the evolution of this new product in cosmetic industry it became the bandwagon, specifically in youth. Cosmetic industry acquired a huge list of customers between 13-20 age groups. Reports have shown that children start using sprays at the age of 11.

You pass by a teenager, and you will find out the craze of the fragrance among them. They hardly leave home without using deodorant sprays. Deodorants make them feel good and safe.

But behind the fragrance, dark side of deodorants is left unnoticed. Besides of causing several diseases, deodorants do pose a great threat to our environment. Many of you might get stunned with this fact; a conventional deodorant contains triclosan, formaldehyde, parabens, diethanolamine (DEA), aluminium, aerosol (as propellant) etc like chemicals. All of these have bad effect on body as well as environment and most of us are unaware with severe damage caused by deodorants.

In reference to the studies conducted and researches preformed worldwide here are 10 ways, in which deodorants harm environment :


Environment is all about us and our surrounding. Besides posing great threat to environment, Deodorants are affecting human health too. It is well known to all of us that our skin is a permeable membrane. Whatever we apply on skin is absorbed by rest of the body tissues too. Recent survey revealed that more than 70% women with breast cancer possessed large amount of parabens in their body, which is a key component in manufacture of deodorants and antiperspirants. Parabens is used as preservative in many of the deodorants. Although it is considered as rumor by many since there was not exact track of comparing the amount of paraben available in normal woman and a cancer patient but still there are no authentic proofs that deodorants do not cause breast cancer. Just for the sake of fragrance, posing yourself to risk of breast cancer would not at all be a good idea.


As stated above we together with our surrounding constitute environment. The adverse effect of using deodorants does not only limit to breast cancer but the hit list is endless. To name a few, starting from skin allergy and irritation to the severe hazardous disease like Alzheimer, renal dysfunction, threat to endocrine system, hazardous effect due to use of deodorants have a vast coverage. So besides going much in depth of the reality avoiding the use of deodorants as much as possible would be a much better idea, indeed!


Formaldehyde, a key element in manufacturing of deodorants is the key element in formation of smoke. Also known as Carcinogen, they are widely found in cigarette smoke too.

Beside environmental they pose a greater risk to health too. If inhaled in severe form they can cause even death.


Aluminium is a key element in manufacturing of the subgroup of deodorants, Antiperspirants as well as deodorants itself. The process employed by antiperspirants is hazardous in itself as it involves blocking the sweat above that these harmful chemicals involved in its manufacturing doubles up the damage.

Aluminium is a bauxite ore; the process of mining aluminium from its ore requires intense energy. Beside this aluminium is a well known water pollutant too. It can damage ecosystem and aquatic life.


Mineral oil is a key element in most of the skin care products like deodorants, lipstick etc. Mineral oil has property to emit carbon and other subsequent harmful pollutants which can damage the surrounding. When released with the spray and washed off as we bath aluminium gets to mix up with air and water and cause air pollution as well as water pollution respectively.


Being an ethical citizen, do you always check the labels before buying any products? Most of the cosmetic products are tested on animals. A company may claim that they don’t practise animal testing, but it without third party verification it is always a question for authenticity. Leaping Bunny Logo or Certified Vegan Logo is from the bodies certifying cruelty free product.


Before taking forward this point once again I would like to reiterate the very basics we learned about Ozone layer in our Environmental Science class at elementary level, it is the thin layer of ozone gas that occurs naturally in the earth’s atmosphere, located 10-40 km above earth’s surface in atmosphere. It prevents the earth’s surface from harmful Ultraviolet radiation from sun. The harmful effect of ultraviolet rays from skin cancer to other disease is not hidden from any of us. Chlorofluorocarbon carbons are biggest threat to ozone layer.

Spray deodorants contain aerosol to use as propellant, aerosols have been claimed to contain Chlorofluorocarbon. Although, since the Montreal Protocol- 1987 voluntary international treaty for elimination of Chlorofluorocarbon from aerosols, the use Chlorofluorocarbon in aerosols have been banned completely. Propellants in Chlorofluorocarbon have now been replaced by liquefied gases, usually butane or propane. Still there is no assurance that every cosmetic industry follows this protocol while manufacturing deodorants and hence the threat to ozone layer is still present.

Beside this aerosol contains non renewable fossil fuel which when inhaled can negatively impact human health.


You try to use public transport to reduce environmental pollution yet you use deodorants before leaving house every day. The difference you are making by not using public transport gets dissolved in fragrance of your body spray. Spray type deodorants are worst for environment. These products are likely to have the highest amount of volatile organic compounds. These compounds are a key component in producing ground level ozone and hence a key element in formation of smog.


This is among one of the most threatening yet unnoticed way in which deodorants harm environment. Triclosan, an antimicrobial, antifungal agent widely used in skin care products worldwide is a great threat to waterways. With the increasing use of skin care products, chemicals like triclosan are getting accumulated in water bodies like river and streams. It is believed to aid in the formation of dioxin and chloroform which are known as carcinogens. Triclosan washes off our body and reach surface water, in this way they get to reach water bodies. This are evidences to support that it may be toxic to aquatic organism and affect their endocrine system.


This is the most transparent yet unnoticed cause which signifies that deodorant do harm environment. Like many other products deodorant cans’ packaging also comes in non-recyclable category. Neither deodorants come in cardboard box packaging nor are they refillable. These tin based or plastic packaging of deodorants is one of the likely causes of soil pollution.


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