Antiperspirant Awareness: It's Mostly No Sweat

By Carol Rados

Offensive body odor is against the law in libraries in San Luis Obispo County, Calif. A code of conduct, officials say, is necessary to ensure that one person's right to use a public library doesn't infringe on the rights of another and law enforcement officers have the authority to remove library patrons who smell bad.

An extreme measure? Perhaps. But social awareness, coupled with the availability of dependable personal care products, may be a more practical way to hold body odor at bay.

The agency defines antiperspirant as a drug product applied topically that reduces the production of sweat (perspiration) at the site where it is applied. Antiperspirants, according to the Food and Drug Administration, can safely and effectively reduce sweat for up to 24 hours, if formulated and tested properly. And for most, this means protection against both wetness and odor.

The FDA issued a final rule in June 2003 establishing conditions under which over-the-counter (OTC) antiperspirants are generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE), and are not misbranded. The final rule establishes allowable ingredients and labeling for the products.