Aluminum chlorohydrate is an aluminum salt. It is an inorganic, water-soluble aluminum complex with widespread commercial use. It is a stable, powdered solid that can be hazardous if inhaled or ingested (MSDS). It is used in most antiperspirants on the market today in the United States. In aqueous solution it polymerizes, forming a number of polymers, some of which play an important role in antiperspirant activity (Pophristic et al. 2003). Bulk samples of aluminum chlorohydrate, Al2(OH)5Cl2H2O - (ACH) consists of a mixture of polymers ranging from Al2 to Al200, with the Al13 being the major component (Pophristic et al. 2004). Unlike deodorants, antiperspirants reduce the amount of sweat produced and are considered a drug since they alter the normal physiology of the body (Flarend et al. 2000).
Aluminum chlorohydrate is also used as a coagulant in water purification to remove dissolved organic matter and colloidal particles. It is most often used in industrial and sanitary waste water treatment. It is also used for ink, food, metals and oily wastes, phosphorous removal, color reduction, paper and pulp wastes, sludge dewatering, and metals precipitation (beckart.com). Aluminum chlorohydrate leaves no residual color, offers excellent turbidity removal, and is available as a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) chemical (beckart.com).
Since aluminum chlorohydrate is one of the many salts of aluminum, it is important to have some background information on aluminum. Aluminum occurs naturally and makes up about 8% of the Earth's surface (groesbeckmedicalclinic.com). It is a silver to white color and it is flexible. Aluminum is abundant in nature but has no biological function in the human body (groesbeckmedical clinic.com). Everyone is exposed to low levels of aluminum daily, and most ingest 30-50 milligrams daily unknowingly. Aluminum in its various salt forms is in antacids, aspirins, douches, ulcerative drugs, anti-diarrheals, utensils, food and water, and antiperspirants, as well as many other commonly used products (groesbeckmedicalclinic.com). High levels of exposure to aluminum can effect breathing, the nervous system and bones. It can cause birth defects, and has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease, breast cancer, and Down's Syndrome (groesbeckmedicalclinic.com).
Aluminum chlorohydrate is synthesized by reacting aluminum with hydrochloric acid. Any aluminum raw material can be used, and many different salts can be synthesized based on the raw material used. The most common practice for synthesizing aluminum chlorohydrate is to react aluminum hydroxide with with hydrochloric acid.
Route of Exposure
The routes of entry into the body are inhalation and ingestion (Exley 1998), and also to a lesser extent, dermal. The only undisputed site of uptake in the body is in the gut (Exley 1998). Aluminum chlorohydrate can enter the gut when antiperspirant is used in the form of a spray, and is...