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Aluminium is the third-most common element in the earth’s crust and the third most abundant metal after oxygen and silicon. It has no known biological function; however, it is a contaminant present in most foods and medications.[1][note 1][2] Aluminum is excreted by the renal system[note 2]


For the majority of us, the aluminium that gets into our bodies does so through ingestion and it is just passing through. It mostly leaves the body in the urine and the faeces. However, we also absorb aluminium via the intestine. In those with kidney disease, aluminium in the blood doesn’t get as rapidly excreted and so this group needs to be aware of their intake of aluminium and other things.

In 2007, researchers spelled out some important points. In humans, more than 95% of aluminium is removed by the kidneys into the urine and another 2% leaves us via bile entering the gut from the gall bladder.[3] Aluminium is not used by the body. Any aluminium absorbed from any source is gradually eliminated through the kidneys.

Babies are born with aluminium already present in their bodies, probably from the mother’s blood. Over time, small amounts of the aluminium from food, drink and other sources do accumulate in the body, but this is not believed to pose a significant risk to health.[4]

Toxicity in vaccines[edit]


Aluminum is one of the most effective adjuvants used in vaccinations. For vaccination, the daily quantity of aluminum absorbed by a vaccinated newborn infant is 10 times smaller than the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)’s threshold for neurotoxicity.[5][6]


For antivaxers, aluminum is the new mercury.

Because it has been suggested that aluminum could be linked to certain neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease[7][8] and autism, anti-vaccinationists maintain that injected aluminum rapidly enters the bloodstream and thereby accumulates in the brain, causing neurological damage – reminiscent of Wakefield’s fraudulent claim about autism. There are several scientific fallacies underlying this assertion, however.

The first fallacy is that injected aluminum finds its way into the body more rapidly than ingested aluminum. In fact, most of the aluminum adjuvant in a vaccine remains near the injection site for a long period and is only absorbed slowly into the bloodstream, at approximately the same daily rate as ingested aluminum. Even though the amount of ingested aluminum is much larger, most of that is absorbed in the intestines and only released slowly into the blood.[9] Less than 1% of Aluminium in vaccines is actually absorbed by the body. The same is true of the aluminium found in our food supply, in drinking water and even in the air we breathe, as well as the breast milk or infant formula ingested by babies.[10]

Another fallacy involves confusing Aluminum with Aluminum salts. Aluminum is never directly injected into the body. Instead, Aluminum salts like aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, and potassium aluminum sulfate (alum) are used,[11] which are poorly absorbed as the aluminum bonds in vaccine adjuvants are strong and hence does not break down into aluminum ions easily and hence do not matter if ingested or injected. In healthy subjects, less than 0.3% of aluminium that one eats is absorbed via the GI tract and the kidneys effectively eliminate aluminium from the body.[12] Intravenous infusion of products containing aluminium (ie injection directly into the bloodstream via a drip connected to a vein, as with intravenous nutrition pouches for patients in a hospital) or renal dysfunction are the only real scenarios where aluminium has the potential to accumulate.[13] Once aluminium is in the bloodstream, it is processed similarly regardless of the source.[14]

The second fallacy involves the neurotoxicity of aluminum in the brain. Although aluminum and other chemicals can enter the brain from the bloodstream, they first have to penetrate a protective semipermeable membrane that separates flowing blood from brain tissue, known as the blood brain barrier. The blood brain barrier normally keeps circulating pathogens and toxins from getting into the brain, while allowing the passage of water, nutrients and hormones. If not, you would be dead by eating the minuscule amount of aluminium in milk.[15]

No adverse reactions were observed when mice were fed quantities of aluminum as high as 62 mg/kg/day.[16] The ATSDR concluded that the minimum risk level for exposure to aluminum was 2 mg/kg/day.43 The half-life of elimination of aluminum from the body is approximately 24 hours.[17] Therefore, the burden of aluminum to which infants are exposed in food and vaccines[18][19] is clearly less than the guideline established by the ATSDR and far less than that found to be safe in experimental animals.[20]

Randomized control trials[edit]

Toxicity in Deodorants[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. Systematic review of potential health risks posed by pharmaceutical, occupational and consumer exposures to metallic and nanoscale aluminum, aluminum oxides, aluminum hydroxide and its soluble salts by Calvin C. Willhite, Nataliya A. Karyakina, Robert A. Yokel, Nagarajkumar Yenugadhati, Thomas M. Wisniewski, Ian M. F. Arnold, Franco Momoli and Daniel Krewski. Crit Rev Toxicol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 August 25.
  2. Human exposure to aluminium by Christopher Exley in Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2013,15,1807, doi:10.1039/c3em00374d
  3. Human health risk assessment for aluminium, aluminium oxide, and aluminium hydroxideby D, Yokel RA, Nieboer E, et al. [published correction appears in J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2008 Feb;11(2):147]. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2007;10 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):1-269. doi:10.1080/10937400701597766
  4. The biological behaviour and bioavailability of aluminium in man, with special reference to studies employing aluminium-26 as a tracer: review and study update by Priest ND. J Environ Monit. 2004;6(5):375-403. doi:10.1039/b314329p
  5. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
  6. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21
  7. Aluminum and Alzheimers by Steven Novella
  8. Lidsky TI. Is the Aluminum Hypothesis dead?. J Occup Environ Med. 2014;56(5 Suppl):S73-S79. doi:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000063
  9. Aluminium toxicokinetics: an updated minireview. by Yokel RA, McNamara PJ. in Pharmacol Toxicol. 2001;88(4):159-167. doi:10.1034/j.1600-0773.2001.d01-98.x
  10. In vivo absorption of aluminium-containing vaccine adjuvants using 26Al by Flarend RE, Hem SL, White JL, et al. Vaccine. 1997;15(12-13):1314-1318. doi:10.1016/s0264-410x(97)00041-8
  11. Tweet
  12. Krewski, Daniel et al. “Human health risk assessment for aluminium, aluminium oxide, and aluminium hydroxide.” Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part B, Critical reviews vol. 10 Suppl 1,Suppl 1 (2007): 1-269. doi:10.1080/10937400701597766
  13. Aluminum Toxicity by Jose F Bernardo, MD, MPH, FASN; Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD et al.
  14. About 50% of the aluminium in the bloodstream is eliminated in less than 24 hours, more than 75% is eliminated within two weeks
  15. Aluminum adjuvants in vaccines and the blood-brain barrier. Removing the facts from the fiction, the good science from the junk science.
  16. Golub MS, Donald JM, Gershwin ME, Keen CL. Effects of aluminum ingestion on spontaneous motor activity of mice. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1989 May-Jun;11(3):231-5. doi: 10.1016/0892-0362(89)90064-0. Erratum in: Neurotoxicol Teratol 1999 May-Jun;21(3):303. PMID: 2755419.
  17. [1]
  18. Table
  19. Table
  20. [L.S. Keith, D.E. Jones, C.-H.S.J. Chou, Aluminum toxicokinetics regarding infant diet and vaccinations, Vaccine, Volume 20, Supplement 3, 2002, Pages S13-S17, ISSN 0264-410X,