Aluminum

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British workers melt down aluminum pots and kettles during WWII.
Give us anti-aircraft guns and aluminum and we can fight for three or four years.
Joseph Stalin to US diplomat Harry L. Hopkins, July 1941.[1]
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Aluminum is the the most abundant metal and third-most common element in the Earth’s crust after oxygen and silicon.[note 1] It has no known biological function; however, it is a contaminant present in most foods and medications.[2][note 2][3] Aluminum is excreted by the renal system.[note 3] Despite this, aluminum has a reputation for freaking out the anti-vaccination movement, especially after mercury-based thiomersal was removed from most vaccines.

Toxicosis[edit]

For the majority of us, the aluminum 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 feces. However, we also absorb aluminum via the intestine. In those with kidney disease, aluminum in the blood doesn’t get as rapidly excreted and so this group needs to be aware of their intake of aluminum and other things.

In 2007, researchers spelled out some important points. In humans, more than 95% of aluminum is removed by the kidneys into the urine and another 2% leaves us via bile entering the gut from the gall bladder.[4] Aluminum is not used by the body. Any aluminum absorbed from any source is gradually eliminated through the kidneys.

Babies are born with aluminum already present in their bodies, probably from the mother’s blood. Over time, small amounts of the aluminum from food, drink and other sources do accumulate in the body, but this is not believed to pose a significant risk to health.[5]

Alleged toxicity in vaccines[edit]

Usage[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.[6][7]

Criticism[edit]

For antivaxxers, aluminum is the new mercury.

Because it has been suggested that aluminum could be linked to certain neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease[8][9] and autism, anti-vaccinationists maintain that injected aluminum rapidly enters the bloodstream and thereby accumulates in the brain, causing neurological damage – reminiscent of Andrew 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 (vaccines are given intramuscularly), 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.[10] Less than 1% of aluminium in vaccines is actually absorbed by the body. The same is true of the aluminum 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.[11]

Another fallacy involves confusing pure 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,[12] 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 aluminum that one eats is absorbed via the GI tract and the kidneys effectively eliminate aluminum from the body.[13] Intravenous infusion of products containing aluminum (i.e. 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 aluminum has the potential to accumulate.[14] Once aluminum is in the bloodstream, it is processed similarly regardless of the source.[15]

The third 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 aluminum in milk.[16]

No adverse reactions were observed when mice were fed quantities of aluminum as high as 62 mg/kg/day.[17] The ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) concluded that the minimum risk level for exposure to aluminum was 2 mg/kg/day. The half-life of elimination of aluminum from the body is approximately 24 hours.[18] Therefore, the burden of aluminum to which infants are exposed in food and vaccines[19][20] is clearly less than the guideline established by the ATSDR and far less than that found to be safe in experimental animals.[21]

Toxicity in Deodorants[edit]

Deodorants have aluminum which is used as an active ingredient to remove body odors. The risk of cancer due to aluminum-based deodorants is still under review by scientists as only a few studies have investigated a possible relationship between breast cancer and deodorants.[22]

Chemtrails[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Chemtrails

Many proponents of the chemtrails conspiracy theory believe that the government is spraying aluminum into the air along with other elements like barium and strontium, and that this is done to stop global warming, for population control (genocide conspiracy), etc. and is causing diseases like Alzheimer's.[23] Of course, this is all bunk. Airplane contrails (not chemtrails) are primarily made of water vapor frozen to particles like soot, aerosols, carbon dioxide, sulfur and nitrogen oxides, and yes, sometimes particles of metal,[24] but there is no evidence that they contain a significant amount of aluminum or that airplanes have been used to spray toxic chemicals on the population, and a 2014 study showed neither an increase in aluminum levels by elevation nor dangerous levels of aluminum at any elevation, which you'd expect to happen if the chemtrails "theory" was true.[25]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Memorandum by Mr. Harry L. Hopkins, Personal Representative of President Roosevelt. US State Department Office of the Historian.
  2. 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.
  3. Human exposure to aluminium by Christopher Exley in Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2013,15,1807, doi:10.1039/c3em00374d
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
  7. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21
  8. Aluminum and Alzheimers by Steven Novella
  9. Lidsky TI. Is the Aluminum Hypothesis dead?. J Occup Environ Med. 2014;56(5 Suppl):S73-S79. doi:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000063
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Tweet
  13. 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
  14. Aluminum Toxicity by Jose F Bernardo, MD, MPH, FASN; Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD et al.
  15. About 50% of the aluminium in the bloodstream is eliminated in less than 24 hours, more than 75% is eliminated within two weeks
  16. Aluminum adjuvants in vaccines and the blood-brain barrier. Removing the facts from the fiction, the good science from the junk science.
  17. 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.
  18. [1]
  19. Table
  20. Table
  21. [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, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0264-410X(02)00165-2.
  22. Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer
  23. My month with chemtrails conspiracy theorists, Carey Dunne, The Guardian 22 May 2017
  24. Why do jets leave a white trail in the sky?, Jenn Stroud Rossmann, Scientific American 19 November 2001
  25. Contrails vs. Chemtrails – Fact Sheet, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, July 2014