At first sight this profile of the Alcohol Free Shop paints a picture of a fairly harmless, if obsessive, crank. Alcohol free beers, wines and spirits may have a place in the scheme of things, but has anyone ever got drunk on a deodorant spray?
The Alcohol Free Shop’s pitch fails to present a case for banning alcohol from body sprays, so I was going to share with you an anecdote from my pub promoting days. It was about some silly parents who tried to sue a drinks manufacturer after their kids got drunk on pure fruit juice that was way past its sell-by date. But something better came along…
Alcohol free PitRok Natural Spray Deodorant, its manufacturer explains, harnesses ‘all the power of PitRok natural crystal deodorant… PitRok’s bacteriostatic action works by inhibiting bacterial growth’.
I don’t know to which ‘natural crystals’ they refer. But I did notice that the product contains 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, which doesn’t sound very ‘natural’ to me. Also known as bronopol, it does have an antibacterial action and is supplied as crystals. Created in a laboratory belonging to Boots the Chemist in the 1960s, it’s classified by the EU as harmful, irritant and dangerous for the environment. In a WWF profile of toxicologist Dr Samuel Epstein (‘exposing the links between cancer and the environment’), bronopol is named as something that, ‘although not carcinogenic… break[s] down to release formaldehyde, a potent irritant and carcinogen’.
I reckon you’re better off spraying your underarms with a little alcohol than that stuff.