General Question

sfgal's avatar

Is it bad to accidentally eat a tiny bit of aluminum foil?

Asked by sfgal (277 points ) May 31st, 2007
I live in San Francisco, which means I eat a lot of burritos. My boyfriend always carefully examines the burrito when he peels back the foil it is wrapped in, becuase he insists that eating tiny flecks of aluminum foil is bad for you, and sometimes when you cut a burrito in half tiny pieces of foil can end up in the burrito. Will ingesting small amounts of foil make you sick???
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

Tennis5tar's avatar
As far as I know, it's fairly harmless. I'm sure I've eaten small bits of foil before and I've not suffered any adverse effects. I think if there were any significant health risk, they would stop using it to wrap things such as burritos.
hossman's avatar
There are statistical links between levels of metals in the body, especially aluminum, and dementia or Alzheimer's. Whether there is an actual causal link is not known. This issue has been the subject of many medical studies, but dementia and Alzheimer's are complicated disorders, causation is difficult to prove, and the results have been inconclusive. Aluminum can accrue in our bodies through drinking water, aluminum cookware, and of course, the use of aluminum foil.
nomtastic's avatar
i would worry more about the air you breathe in a city.
jeanm's avatar
In Japan and India (maybe other places too) special desserts are decorated with tiny bits of gold or silver foil. In the U.S. I often see silver foiled almonds for sale during the Dec. holidays. Since folks are deliberately eating these foils, I can't imagine a small bit of aluminum foil would be bad for you, just not as precious as what you could be eating!
skfinkel's avatar

I avoid aluminum foil (candy wrappers, gum wrappers) since it sets up some kind of weird reaction with silver fillings. That also is the alert to get it out of your mouth before swallowing. Have any fillings that might help out here?

mabelrxu's avatar

you body naturally takes in metal anyways ... but in any case, your body has an excellent mechanism for filtering out excesses / poisons ... the Kidneys!

They have a series of little cells that use osmosis and chemical balances to help remove extra of any chemicals and such, so if you drink lots of water, you have more fluids passing through your body ... which will help "flush out" anything you don't really need

don't worry too much about it ... it hasn't killed you yet, has it? ^_^ ... and besides, the human body is an amazing thing ... it can handle all sorts of disasters we throw at it, and so far humankind still exists, so ... ^_^

gooch's avatar

it is not chleaded so it will be passed from your system. don't worry about it. Kind of like if you ate sand you don't absorb anything from it it just passes on through

joshuaezra's avatar

I think that the real concern with aluminum is for microscopic particles – if its big enough to see, it will pass right through you!

exek19's avatar

No nothing will happen, unless you consume large amounts which I don’t think you do.

tinfoil's avatar

I just did the very same thing. They really shouldnt wrap the aluminum with the tortilla… especially for someone who’s had too many beers. If i die i want to be avenged. Against the burrito industry! ... nah i should be fine…

Richtofen's avatar

I ate a piece of Al foil four days ago; unfortunately it perforated my small intestine and I now have to have surgery to have it removed. However, the chances of intestinal perforation due to the ingestion of Al foil are very slim, like 2%.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther