Aluminum sulfate is not toxic

How dangerous is aluminum? 5 facts

In contrast, despite its aluminum content, drinking water is only an insignificant source. Studies in the USA show that natural waters span a wide range in their aluminum concentrations. The water treatment does not change the content significantly, although aluminum salts are used as flocculants. On average, one takes in roughly an order of magnitude less aluminum in this way than through food.

Far more aluminum is consumed in special situations through medication and at certain workplaces. According to EFSA, workers in the aluminum processing industry ingest around 40 milligrams of the metal every working day. Medicines that contain aluminum compounds include antacids (drugs that neutralize stomach acid), several brands of which contain basic aluminum hydroxide.

Depending on how high you dose these substances, you ingest about one to two grams of aluminum salts in this way. Because of the low absorption via the digestive tract, only fractions of it get into the blood - with frequent use, however, these can add up to considerable amounts, warns the BfR. In contrast, the amount of aluminum absorbed via vaccinations or in the form of additives in tablets is significantly lower.

Nevertheless, and despite the very poor data situation for many possible aluminum sources, the BfR assessed the situation critically in its statement. Taken together from the various sources, the guideline value for the safe weekly intake has already been exceeded for the majority of the population. Three population groups are potentially particularly affected: on the one hand, infants and toddlers who receive special, for example hypoallergenic, food, and a subgroup of children between the ages of three and ten who ingest a lot of aluminum through food - cosmetics and other external sources could exceed this of the guideline.

On the other hand, the BfR sees the risk that a subgroup of young women with a passion for cosmetics could expose the unborn child to increased aluminum concentrations over long periods of time in the event of pregnancy. A particular problem is that aluminum is stored in the body for a long time.

What are the consequences of too much aluminum in the body?

Aluminum and its salts are not particularly toxic, but they do have some harmful long-term effects. In animal experiments, these effects occur without exception with unrealistically high amounts of aluminum, but since the metal is only excreted very slowly and accumulates in the body, there is a certain risk even with achievable amounts. It is known that aluminum slows down the reflexes in animal experiments; Experts observed delayed development in young animals.