Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly, sometimes also called AZG, ATX, AH5, or Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Glycine Complex, is an ingredient commonly used as an antiperspirant in many deodorant products. It's a compound of aluminum and zirconium that works by forming a film on the skin, obstructing pores, and preventing sweat from leaving the body. This helps prevent bacteria from growing, which causes body odor. Additionally, this compound can reduce sweating by up to 90%, making it a very effective antiperspirant​.

In its anhydrous form, it has the added ability to absorb moisture. When in contact with sweat, this ingredient forms a colloidal "plug" in sweat glands, limiting the flow of sweat to the skin's surface. However, this plug is gradually broken down, and normal sweating resumes​.

While not generally a risk to most people, Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly can potentially cause skin irritation, especially in individuals with preexisting skin conditions. It can trigger an immune response in sensitive persons after the first exposure and is not hypoallergenic. If you experience any skin irritation or allergic reaction after using an antiperspirant or deodorant containing Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly, it's recommended to discontinue use and consult a doctor or dermatologist​.

Additionally, this ingredient can stain clothing with a yellowish tint and cause a stiffening of the affected areas of clothing​.

Regarding health concerns, the ingredient has a high score in terms of use restrictions, particularly for inhalable products like sprays and powders, because of potential respiratory concerns. Furthermore, while it is unlikely to be carcinogenic in humans, some animal studies have shown tumor formation at high doses. It has a low score for non-reproductive organ system toxicity​.

The presence of Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly on the EU 26 list is most likely due to its potential to cause skin sensitivities and allergic reactions. Although it generally poses a low health risk, it can cause irritation and dermatitis, particularly in individuals who have been previously exposed or those with preexisting skin conditions. However, it's important to note that the EU 26 list is not a definitive list of harmful ingredients and that Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly is generally considered safe for most people​.

How safe is it?

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