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Healthy Aluminum Tips

Healthy Home 2008, Spring 2008

Aluminum is the third most common element in the earth's crust, after oxygen and silicon, making it hard to avoid. It's found in some kitchen utensils, drinking water, beverage cans, antacids, antiperspirants, and even food.

Since the 1960s, when studies found above-average levels of aluminum in the brains of people with Alzheimer's, health experts have advised staying away from items that contain aluminum. Yet, according to the Alzheimer's Association, no one has ever replicated the original studies linking aluminum to the disease.

Use aluminum foil sparingly -- and reuse it before you recycle it. Stop wrapping leftovers in foil; store them in glass containers instead. The manufacture of new foil is energy intensive -- another reason to ration. Buy recycled foil, which is produced using 95 percent less energy.

Most Careful
If you're concerned about toxicity, limit your contact with items that contain aluminum. Don't cook food wrapped in or covered with aluminum foil. Use only anodized aluminum pots and pans, which won't allow the metal to leach. Take extra care when choosing products you use daily, such as antiperspirant. If you prefer to minimize your exposure further, avoid antacids, aspirin, and baking powder that contains the metal. Also, have your water tested for aluminum.

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