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Is Spray Deodorant Bad for the Environment?

Is Spray Deodorant Bad for the Environment?

Deodorant is most commonly used in spraying form. It keeps away odors and allows you to go about with confidence. Many deodorants come in spray cans, but some people wonder if this is bad for the environment. The answer to this question depends on many factors, such as what does spray deodorant contains.

Is spray deodorant bad for the environment? According to some studies, some of them can seriously damage ozone—in addition to your lungs.  

The researchers found that several types of aerosol deodorants and hairsprays damage the ozone layer.

What kinds of common chemicals does spray deodorant may consist of?

Deodorant Spray

Some of the most common chemicals in deodorant cans may include:

  • Alcohols such as SD alcohol, benzyl alcohol, and denatured alcohol. A number of them are irritating to the skin and eyes, with strong potential for abuse.
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is used as an antioxidant.
  • Camphor is a strong astringent and can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and lungs.
  • Chlorophenol is potentially harmful to health.  It can damage the kidneys, liver, and reproductive system.  They are also carcinogenic.  Chlorophenols may cause cancerous changes in the organs once they are absorbed by the skin.
  • Citrus terpenes are preservatives used in aerosol hairsprays and deodorants. They can cause respiratory problems and heart abnormalities.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) is a solvent, stabilizer, emulsifier, and foaming agent used in cosmetics. It has been associated with liver cancer if it is absorbed by the skin or inhaled as a spray.
  • Ethyl alcohol may harm the eye, skin, and respiratory tract.
  • Ethylene oxide is widely used in the manufacture of antifreeze, brake fluid, and other chemicals. It can cause cancer and nerve damage.
  • Phenol is a toxic substance that irritates skin and eyes. Phenols may cause kidney and liver damage and they are carcinogenic to animals.
  • Zinc ricinoleate is a possible skin irritant, which may have negative effects on health.
  • Parabens are used as preservatives in food and pharmaceuticals. However, they can affect the hormonal system of the body.
  • Formaldehyde can be used in liquid form or vaporized to create a mist. It is known for being carcinogenic and toxic to humans. However, you are most likely exposed to it through cosmetics that contain it rather than aerosol sprays.
  • Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is used in aerosols to produce a mist.

Some of the above chemicals have been linked to breast cancer. Animal studies showed that mice who got BHT had more tumors in their mammary glands than other mice did. In addition, rats fed large amounts of camphor developed cancers in their lungs and kidneys.

Parabens are a form of weak estrogen that mimics the hormone in the body and can disrupt its functions.  They have been shown to cause allergic reactions in many people with sensitive skin, and parabens have been detected in breast cancer tissues.  In addition, animal studies found they may damage the male reproductive system if exposure is high.

Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, has been linked to leukemia, and is considered by the National Cancer Institute as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.

Triclosan, an antibacterial chemical that can kill bacteria or alter their functions, with possible implications for drug resistance.  It was banned in Minnesota because of potentially harmful effects, and it is very difficult to remove from the body.

In addition, some of them are known endocrine disruptors that can interfere with your hormonal systems and cause effects such as early menstrual periods, breast development in males, and delayed or incomplete puberty. In addition, they may increase your risk for many other problems.

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Does spray deodorant contain VOCs?

Yes, they do.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases and that easily evaporate at room temperature and usually contain carbon atoms.

They may be harmful to human health and the environment because they can damage the lungs, irritate the eyes, skin, and other organs in your body.

Both animal studies and experiments have shown that exposure to volatile organic compounds can cause cancer and affect the immune system.

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Since spray deodorants contain volatile organic compounds, is it considered in the category of aerosol sprays?

Woman Showing Armpits

Yes, it is. Consumer aerosol products contain harmful chemicals which are inhaled by the user and emit volatile organic compounds into the environment. In addition, they may be harmful to plants, animals, and human beings.  

Some of these chemicals have been banned in Europe because of their adverse effects on people’s health.  When aerosols are sprayed, a cloud of chemicals in a fine mist is released into the air.  

If you inhale the aerosol, it enters your bloodstream and causes problems such as asthma.

In addition, when they are burned or go into the water, they produce harmful pollutants which may contaminate water and damage aquatic species. Aerosol spray cans are usually made of aluminum which is not easily degradable. They take about 200 years to decompose completely in landfills.

Undesirable health effects may occur when you breathe in the chemicals that are released into the air when aerosol products are sprayed or burned. The most common reactions include headache, nausea, vomiting, mouth or throat dryness, or nosebleeds.

As you can see, spray deodorants contain harmful chemicals which may cause serious adverse effects on your health and the environment.

It is recommended to use natural deodorants rather than aerosol sprays to prevent possible problems such as early puberty, breast cancer, and damage to the reproductive system.

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Spray deodorant and its effect on the environment

The aerosol spray cans are not the only concern for those who want to avoid harmful chemicals.  

Many of these ingredients are present in deodorants in solid form as well, since they dissolve easily into water. When you consider that most users apply these products daily all year long, it’s easy to see that their effect on the environment is quite significant.

Garbage cans are filled with aerosol spray cans, which can enter the water cycle and harm animals who mistake them for food.  You may have noticed how dogs love chewing any kind of plastic or rubber they can get to—this habit can be very dangerous because it exposes them to harmful chemicals

However, not all types of spray deodorants are bad for the environment.  It all depends on what chemicals they contain.  

The most common chemicals in spray cans are alcohol and silicones—which are both made from petroleum products. These can evaporate into the air, leaving behind residue that is harmful to breathe in.

Also, when you spray deodorant in an enclosed space, the chemicals in them are then concentrated.  This increases your exposure to them in a harmful way.

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What are cfc free aerosol sprays?  

Cfc stands for chlorofluorocarbon, which are ozone-depleting chemicals found in many aerosol spray cans. It is the key component that helps the propellant in spray cans to dissolve into liquid form, which is then sprayed out of the can.

However, CFCs are ozone-depleting chemicals that are destroying the ozone layer in the stratosphere—which protects all life on Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation it also promotes poor indoor air quality. Besides the CFC there are other ozone-depleting chemicals that are contributing to global warming.  

Since their use was banned by the Montreal Protocol of 1987, by regulating consumer products aerosol sprays have begun being phased out of production.    

The most modern spray deodorants are CFC-free—and therefore, environmentally friendly on the ozone layer.  

They’re still made with chemicals that may harm your health, but they don’t contain CFCs like the aerosol spray cans produced that will destroy the ozone layer. However, this does not mean you should use them without caution. Always be mindful in choosing the right consumer products.  

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How many aerosol cans are being disposed of in garbage daily?

The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the United States alone throws away 1 billion cans each year.

The average person uses between ten and thirty cans of deodorant every year.  This means that over 9 billion cans are disposed of in trash bins each year, which can contaminate water sources like rivers by entering through the drainage system.

You may think this is not a big deal since only half of them are being recycled—but this still leaves four billion cans that will just end up in a landfill

As you can see, spray deodorants may have many harmful side effects.  It’s always best to go for the natural alternatives whenever possible.

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What is a good alternative to spray deodorant?

Woman Applying Deodorant

Many organic spray deodorants have been proven to be better for the environment and human health.  Even though they contain chemicals, they don’t harm as much as those in aerosol sprays.

The difference is that organic spray deodorants use essential oils instead of chemicals to kill bacteria. That means there’s no fragrance or harmful ingredients in them.

Organic spray deodorants are made with a base of aloe vera, which has antibacterial properties.  They can be used by both men and women, even those with sensitive skin.

You can find these products at most natural food stores.  But if you live in an area where this type of store is not present, it’s easy to find them online as well.

The only issue with organic spray deodorants is that they are more expensive than their chemical counterparts because they do not contain chemicals that are cheap to manufacture.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, you have seen that using spray deodorant can be bad for your health and the environment if they contain harmful chemicals.  

The zinc found in the spray can be very toxic to animal and plant life. Although spray-on deodorant doesn’t emit as much as an aerosol spray as they do a fine mist, it still affects the ones who are close to it.

Evaporation also occurs which accelerates transport away from the initial point release. Contacting skin is not recommended at all either because that means that these chemicals will then be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. And cause some health problems.

Besides these chemicals, aerosol cans are contributing to more garbage since it’s hard to be recycled.

You should try a natural alternative such as organic spray deodorants—you might be surprised at how well they work!

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