12/01/2010 03:32 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Aluminum, Fluoride, and other Health Hazards

I am on a mission. I can't do it all at once, but I think that if I can take it one thing at a time, I just might be able to get a little cleaner from the inside, and little greener on the outside.

My husband started it. He decided to begin using deodorant/antiperspirant without aluminum in it after reading a scientific article. Apparently, the many forms of dementia (like Alzheimer's) that affect humans, like my dear great grandmother, share one thing in common: high levels of this heavy metal in the brain tissue.

Aluminum is also found in the breast tissue of men and women with breast cancer, in especially high concentrations in the actual tumors.

Sadly, aluminum is easy to find in nearly every antiperspirant on the market, namely because it is effective at eliminating that awful human funky smell. There are many different kinds of aluminum, and many spellings, but it's basically the same stuff (as far as I can tell). You might see aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium, aluminum sulfate, and many more.

It almost goes without saying that I didn't want my husband to be lucid and sharp while I slowly lost my marbles in old age, so I began the arduous journey of finding a way to deodorize without aluminum. It seems like such a simple task, but it isn't.

I am a yoga teacher, so in my work, I sweat alongside my clients. Deep and vast is the lore of stinky yoga teachers who refuse to wear deodorant. They are not well liked, and not commonly welcomed in some restaurants, and frankly, I didn't want to be one of them. Also, I didn't want my business to disappear. But I also didn't want my focus and clarity to disappear as I aged. What to do? My husband's brand (he went with Degree Silver Ion Arctic Edge Deodorant, and it works) smelled pretty manly, so that was not an option for me. A friend of mine suggested Burt's Bee's Doctor Burt's "The Defender" Herbal Deodorant with Oil of Sage. She used to distribute it, and she said the secret was to use a light dusting of powder over it. I gave it a try, along with Jason Tea Tree Talc-Free Body Powder. After nearly 20 years of using an aluminum antiperspirant, my friend told me it might take a couple of weeks for my body to detox and stop smelling. What? That's enough time for my whole business to fall apart because of my offensive odor. I tried it on my days off first, to see if this was going to work at all. I asked my family members, who are horribly/wonderfully honest, to sniff in my general direction. To my pleasant surprise, it did work.

Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction toward keeping my body clean from the inside out. And who doesn't want to stay free of cancerous tumors and mentally sharp as long as possible? A note to readers: I do not endorse any of the brands in this blog. I only mention them because I like them, they work for me, and so they might work for you, too. If you dare to get the aluminum off of your list of personal pollutants, let me know how it goes.

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