After research for give you a proper answer I conclude that the safety
precautions for cooking with aluminum foil are the same that for
cooking with aluminum cookware, because the chemical reactions
involved are the same.
The danger come from the possibility of increase the risk of aluminum
It is true that the use of aluminum cookware and aluminum foil in food
preparation increases the amount of aluminum ingested, but this is a
relatively small contribution. The problems start when the use of
aluminum in food preparation is added to others sources of exposition
alum, aluminum cans, aluminum dust, aluminum phosphate, aluminum
silicate (found in Kaopectate), animal feed, antacids, automotive
parts, automotive exhaust, baking powder, beer, american cheese,
ceramics, cigarette filters, colored chalk, construction material,
dental amalgams, deodorants, drinking water,herbicides, detergents,
industrial dust, insecticides, insulated wiring, nasal spray (alum),
paris green, rat poisons, medical compounds, milk products,
pesticides, seafood, table salt, tobacco smoke, toothpaste, vanilla
powder, wallpaper dye/plaster, wine, wood preservatives, etc.
You may note that the aluminum is found extensively distributed in the
nature. A natural proportion from 8% of the earth's crust locates it
in the first place of abundance among the metals and the third among
all the elements of the earth's crust.
The 14% of the world production is destined to the manufacture of
cookware and for food package. So very important interests are
involved on the research of aluminum toxicity. Altough several studies
claim the risk of the ingestion of aluminum and prevent it use on food
preparation (cooking) the FDA has determined that the aluminum
cookware, aluminum foil, antiperspirants, antiacids, and other
products of aluminum generally do not present risk for the health.
For example one article of "The Edelson Center for Environmental and
Preventive Medicine" web site entitled "How to Live a Healthier,
Longer Life" recommends:
"Avoid Aluminum - In any form, when coming in contact with the human
body, it may cause long-term medical problems. Therefore, use no
aluminum containing deodorants or any products for the body that
contain aluminum. Natural deodorant products are available at health
food stores and are far safe. Also, use no foil to cook with or store
food in and do not use aluminum cookware."
Many vegetables incorporate aluminum from the ground in which are
cultivated. When the pH of the ground is less than 5, this metal is
dissolved in the water and absorbed by the roots of the plants.
The content of aluminum in the food is highly variable due to the
employment not only in the manufacture but also during the storage in
cans and wrappings. The food that contribute in great proportion to
dietary aluminum are cereals, cheeses processed and salt, since they
contain aluminum compounds aggregate as additives. During the
industrial prosecution of preserves of fruits and beer are added
certain aluminum salts, that are also habitual components of baking
powders, preservative, additives,etc. The tea have, in general, a
high content of aluminum, the asimilation is greater in the
individuals who drinks infusions with lemon, since the anion citric
acid favors the absorption of the aluminum, because acidity increases
the solubility of the aluminum compounds.
The drinks in cans and the cookware constitute additional sources of
aluminum in the diet. Fortunately, the majority of the food does not
dissolve important quantities of aluminum but the heat supplied during
the cocción and the addition of acid solutions and salts, enlarge
considerably its solubility.
So avoid to cook acid food (like tomatoes, rhubarb, cabbage, etc.) in
aluminum cookware or aluminum foil.
Excerpted, summarized and translated from the article in spanish
"ALUMINIO: ¿CULPABLE O INOCENTE?" (ALUMINUM: GUILTY OR INNOCENT?) by
Alcira Nesse, Graciela Garbossa, Gladys Pérez, Daniela Vittori,
Nicolás Pregi from the University of Buenos Aires:
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT (common places):
Aluminum pots, pans, and other cookware. Aluminum foil,
antiperspirants, deodorants, bleached flour, regular table salt,
tobacco smoke, processed cheese, cream of tartar, douches, canned
goods, baking powder, antacids, buffered aspirin, and most city water.
Processed cheese is high in it, for the aluminum helps it melt when
heated. Avoid to use aluminum cookware. Use stainless steel or glass
The following articles will be useful to clarify this:
"ALUMINUM AND HUMAN HEALTH" from Health Canada Online website:
"How Can Families Reduce the Risk of Exposure to Aluminum?" from
"Aluminum Toxicological Profile" from About.com:
"Aluminum" by Elson M. Haas M.D. (Excerpted from Staying Healthy with
Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine) at
Health World Online website:
"The Neurotoxic Effects of Aluminum" by Ward Dean, MD from Vitamin
Research Products Online website:
"Hidden Hazards in our Food":
"Nutritional Reduction of Heavy Metals" Nutritional Information
Copyright © David W. Rowland, 2001:
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"aluminum foil" danger
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