Aluminum content of human milk and antiperspirant use

Mika Rochman, Laurence Mangel, Dror Mandel, Matitiahu Berkovitch, Elkana Kohn, Ramzia Abu Hamad, Ronit Lubetzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Aluminum exposure may originate from numerous sources, including antiperspirants. Aluminum toxicity can cause a wide range of neurological impairments. Infants are exposed to aluminum through human milk (HM), formulas, total-parenteral-nutrition and vaccines. Due to potential risk of toxicity to both infants and women, it has been advised that lactating women decrease their use of aluminum-based products and antiperspirants. Our study aimed to determine whether the use of aluminum-based antiperspirants (ABA) affects aluminum levels in HM. Methods: This cross-sectional study included healthy mothers who exclusively breastfed infants (1 week to 5 months). Questionnaires were used to collect data on demographics, antiperspirant use and aluminum exposure. Mothers were instructed to express HM during the morning at first breastfeeding session. Aluminum levels were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry with a 5 ppb limit of detection. Results: Fifteen of the 58 (26%) recruited mothers used an aluminum-free antiperspirant (AFA) and 43 (74%) used an ABA. The range of aluminum concentration in HM was 0–100.8 lg/L (mean 11.4 – 17.4 lg/L). The median aluminum level (Q1–Q3) was 6.5 lg/L (5.2–11.9) and 5.2 lg/L (3.46–9.4) in the AFA and ABA groups, respectively (p = 0.19). The aluminum levels were not affected by maternal age, education, diet, number of children, infant age, lactation stage or self-reported aluminum exposure. Conclusion: The data from this preliminary study demonstrate that the use of an ABA by lactating mothers does not increase their HM aluminum content. Additional studies with a larger cohort are warranted to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-659
Number of pages6
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Aluminum
  • Antiperspirants
  • Human milk


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