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silverfly's avatar

Is aluminum bad for you?

Asked by silverfly (4027 points ) April 6th, 2010

I recently heard that soda and other products that are canned are very bad for you. Apparently, the chemicals that make up the metal find their way into the liquid and this can be harmful and is the reason we see pasta sauce and many other products in glass containers.

Is this true?

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23 Answers

Snarp's avatar

It’s certainly not proven. Aluminum is not particularly good for the brain, but it has a very hard time getting past the blood/brain barrier when consumed in food.

Canned beverages can actually develop some harmful properties when stored at high temperatures, which actually revert to normal when returned to a lower temperature.

It has nothing to do with why other products are in glass containers, they are in glass containers because they always have been, since long before aluminum was used. Some people also think certain products taste better from glass.

But if you are concerned about aluminum, the first thing I’d do is stop using antiperspirant, especially aerosol.

wonderingwhy's avatar

It’s not always the can itself (not all cans are aluminum btw) but sometimes the lining which can contain BPA. Here’s a recent study as to what might be dangerous about such things.

chyna's avatar

No, aluminum wards off space monsters.~

CMaz's avatar

Aluminum is highly toxic when burned.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

I do not believe so,,, Barbara Bush fed “W” baby food canned in aluminum !

CyanoticWasp's avatar

First of all, the sugar (and other things, but start with the sugar) in carbonated drinks is worse for you than almost any container short of one that is radioactive or actually poisonous.

Second, aluminum is highly reactive to acids, so without linings of some kind (and you can’t forget a lining required at the welded seal) or being anodized (maybe—I’m not sure if anodized aluminum is non-reactive or not), the container itself would be corroded by the contents of such things as tomato sauce and other highly or moderately acidic contents.

Finally, like @wonderingwhy said, the BPA additive to plastics (which may still be contained in some liners, I think) has its own list of problems.

Storms's avatar

Yes, so is water.

@Pretty_Lilly Still making funnies at the expense of a former president? That’s lamer than FDR’s legs.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

There is a possible link between Aluminum and Alzheimers Disease. Highly acidic soil conditions can cause Aluminum toxicity in plants. I don’t use Aluminum cookware or food containers as I find it spoils the taste of the food. Actual toxicity is at a higher concentration though. Highly acidic foods, like tomato-based pasta sauce, might leach aluminum out of a container, that may be why the better sauces are sold in glass containers.

Many plastic containers leach out solvents and other toxins over time: it’s not only Aluminum containers to be concerned about. Glass or stainless steel are probably the best materials for food preparation or storage.

Storms's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land The link is there, just no knowledge of cause or effect.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Storms Very true, but a good reason to keep from ingesting Aluminum.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

@Storms FDR’s Accomplishments

• Agricultural Adjustment Act (paid to not grow crops)
• Reciprocal Trade Agreement (tariffs would be lowered for countries that lowered theirs)
• Bank Holiday – closed holidays (would be reopened when FDR certified them)
• World Economic Council
• Good Neighbor Policy – stopped armed intervention in Latin America
• Beer and Wine Revenue Act – taxed beer and wine, why waste a perfectly good industry?
• US off gold standard – allowed for inflation of dollar
• Civilian Conservation Corps – Young men work in forest, send earnings to families
• Federal Emergency Relief Act – Direct money to civilians
• Federal Securities Act – Regulated stock market
• Homeowners Refinancing Act – provided mortgage money and other aid to homeowners
• Glass-Steagall Act – FDIC, insures individual’s banking accounts (stopped bank failures)
• Farm Credit Act – gave farmer’s credit
• National Industrial Recovery Act – businesses can cooperate to create codes of fair competition. Also laborers can’t work for too many hours or too little wages
• Public Works Administration – $4bill on public projects
• Civil Works Administration – Provided temporary jobs during winter
• Indian Reorganization Act – Gave Indians more political and economic freedom
• Townsend Act – $200 to those over 60
• National Housing Act – federal housing administration, homes for cheap
• Works Progress Administration – provided money for public works
• Wagner Act – National Labor Relations Board established, gave laborers right to engage in self-organization, collective bargaining through representatives of their choice, if unable to agree, government could mediate
• Social Security – pay money to retired people
• Soil Conservation Act – Replaces AAA, planted soil conserving crops
• Fair Labor Standards – set minimum wage and maximum hours, no child labor under 16 and 18 if dangerous
=========================================================
“W” accomplishments
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEbZqvMu2cQ

Storms's avatar

@Pretty_Lilly Good ‘ol Führer Franklin.

Nullo's avatar

Soda cans have a lining to them to keep the soda from eating through the metal. The lining takes a few years to be wholly consumed.
If you drink recently-canned soda, there should be no problem. Except for the fact that you’re drinking aluminum-dissolving chemicals.

I’m a big fan of glass containers.

@CyanoticWasp
In the Fallout games, people drink “Nuka-Cola,” which was irradiated during a massive nuclear war. In Fallout 3, Nuka-Cola went and deliberately irradiated their product so that it would glow with Cerenkov radiation.

Storms's avatar

@Nullo They only intentionally irradiated the limited edition Quantum variety, their version of “New Coke”.

ucme's avatar

Even if it is it’s fairly easy to foil it’s dastardly attempts to do you harm.

Lightlyseared's avatar

There is no link between aluminum and alzheimers. There was some research that sugested a link but it has been discredited 20 something years ago (When I was at school it was used as the classic example of how to screw up your stats). Sadly this doesn’t change the fact that people still come out with the same old crap about it.

For the record the research showed a statistical link between using aluminum cooking ware and alzheimers. HOWEVER people who used aluminum pans were significantly older than people who used stainless steal pans. This is due to the fact that from 1945 onwards there was an excess of aluminum about due to all the abandonded aircraft from WWII knocking about which was turned in to kitchen ware. People setting up home in the late 40’s and early 50’s tended to get aluminum pans as they were cheaper. People who set up home in the 60’s and 70’s bought stainless steel pans because by then stainless steel was cheaper. When the reasearchers came to do their study the people with aluminum were older and therefore more likely to have alzheimers. If you take into account the age difference between the two groups there was no differnece in the rates of alzheimers.

That is not to say that aluminum isn’t bad for you.

Storms's avatar

@Lightlyseared Hollosi, Miklos et al. “Stable Intrachain and Intrachain complexes of neurofilament peptides: A putative link between Al and Alzheimer disease.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 91 (1994): 4902–4906.

For the record, I hold the position that Alzheimer’s is NOT caused by aluminum. Nevertheless, it is more common in the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Storms's avatar

@ucme Buh-dum-CH!

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, ingesting aluminum is bad for you. However, excess drinking of the soda that is in the can will kill you long before the harmful effects of the aluminum.

Taciturnu's avatar

We are too fearful to live anymore, and kids are getting ailments like asthma because their parents are germaphobes. It’s good to be mindful, but collectively we take things to extremes. If I ever have a soda, it’s usually from a can.

However, antiperspirants using aluminum as the active ingredient have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer. For that sake, I would say staying away from aluminum in your deodorant is a good idea.

Silhouette's avatar

@chyna I wear my faithfully and it hasn’t hurt me one little bit, in fact it’s kept the voices at bay. heheheh.

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