Summaries of study evidence on various water pollutants and water quality. OBJECTIVITY zone.

Apr 172011

This post is in initial build-out status and may change.

General Information: Wikipedia entry.

Studied Risks: General health

General Health

Aluminum Evidence Summary - General - http://sheet.zoho.com

Overall Score: -2.15

Behind the Score: The score is only slightly negative because aluminum, although widely rumored to be a cause of diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s, has not been definitively proven to cause any health problems other than isolated instances of contact dermatitis or granulomas. 1 2 However, relatively few clinical studies have been conducted. Of those, a large prospective study in France that covered 8- and 15-year intervals showed Alzheimer’s incidence rose as aluminum concentrations in drinking water increased (and fell as silica concentrations rose). 3 4 However, some other studies did not corroborate those results. 5 6 Another inconclusive study showed increased risk for use of aluminum-containing antiperspirant but decreased risk for use of aluminum-containing antacids (though much higher risk for use of all antacids “regardless of aluminum content”). Consider that at least hundreds of millions of people worldwide use aluminum-containing antiperspirants. 7

Adding to this murky picture, a preliminary literature review related to cancer 8 and a study related to breast cysts 9 were inconclusive.

Warnings and Special Notes: See the research studies noted above for possible adverse effects of aluminum.

What Now? More rigorous study is warranted, since no direct effects have been proven. In the meantime, caution (as with discretion) may be the better part of valor.

What Can I Do? To address the possible links found by researchers, deodorants without aluminum (or parabens, another possibly toxic substance) are readily available and reasonably priced at health stores.

Also, if you’re a U.S. resident, you can check aluminum levels in your tap water by entering your ZIP code to view the Environmental Working Group’s database for your local area.