Aluminum is the most common metal in the earth’s crust. It has no known beneficial health function in humans, but it has been linked to several adverse effects at toxic levels and from long-term exposure.
Aluminum can be found in food products, water, cans, antiperspirants, and medications. It is absorbed in low rates in the digestive tract, concentrates in bone and blood, and is excreted primarily by the kidneys. Industrial workers with high exposure to aluminum have an increased risk of lung and bladder cancer. A link between elevated aluminum levels and Alzheimer's Disease has been suggested.
Common symptoms of aluminum toxicity and/or long-term exposure include:
- Speech Disturbance
- Cognitive Decline
- Increased Bone Fractures
- Aluminum is found in some deodorants.
- Some antacids contain aluminum, and may cause aluminum poisoning in individuals with renal impairment.
- Aluminum salts are used sparingly in dialysis to bind phosphates, and generally are not used for more than 2-3 months at lowest possible dose due to potential aluminum toxicity and associated encephalopathy and osteomalacia.
- Some vaccines contain aluminum and individuals with hypersensitivity to aluminum may develop nodules after injection.
- Aluminum is used widely in industrial applications. Studies of individuals working with aluminum sulphates showed increased aluminum burden.
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