Aluminum is the most abundant metal found in the earth’s crust and the third most abundant element on the earth's surface, exceeded only by oxygen and silicon. This metal is never found naturally by itself in a pure state, but bonded with other elements to form compounds. The most frequently encountered compounds are alum and aluminum oxide. Although aluminum is also considered a trace mineral, it can be dangerous and even fatal if consumed in excessive amounts. It has no established function in human nutrition.
Extracted in 1825 by Hans Christian Oersted, a Danish chemist, aluminum has been found to possess the properties of being soft, lightweight, durable, non-magnetic and resistant to corrosion. These characteristics make it ideal in the manufacturing of a wide variety of items utilized in daily life including aluminum foil, appliances and cookware such as pots and pans.
Some common uses of aluminum is packaging such as drinking cans, foil wrap, and storage containers. It is also used in other applications such as for electrical power lines, airplanes, cars, trains, satellite dishes, sporting equipment and more. Around the house it can be found in roofing, door frames, saucepans, kitchen utensils, furniture, refrigerators, toasters, light bulbs and ladders.
There are many sources of aluminum, including the various sources evident in our daily lives all around us such as in cars, appliances, cookware and is even present in our drinking water and some food sources. The toxicity, side effects and risks of aluminum uses in such high levels is a topic of heavy debate and controversy. Aluminum is used so commonly it is even found in baking soda and most deodorants, toothpaste, food additives and low levels exist in certain herbs and tea leaves. Some research studies show evidence that high aluminum content in the human body is toxic, and can pose certain risks and damage to all of us.
Side Effects & Risks
There are a variety of cautionary measures any one person can take to avoid negative repercussions or the risks of diseases or illnesses posed by aluminum. Some measures you can take to protect yourself and your family include using deodorants and other personal care products that are organic and aluminum free, aluminum free baking soda, going green and organic in all areas of your lifestyle can usually ensure you’re living an aluminum free lifestyle. Limit your dietary intake of aluminum as much as possible and drink filtered water; be sure to consult a physician on these measures if you are unsure on what measures are right for you.