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Blog - Minerals

Is Aluminum Healthy for Me?

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vit.jpgAluminum is the most prevalent metal on planet Earth. It is widely distributed and is a highly reactive element that does not exist as a free metal in nature. However, it is often found combined with elements such as silicon, oxygen and fluorine. As a metal, aluminum is obtained from minerals that contain aluminum, particularly bauxite. This metal is silvery white in color and has a light weight. Aluminum is widely used in production of numerous day to day products from cookware and aluminum foils that are found in many kitchens to soda cans and roofs. It is also used in vaccines, antacid, aspirin as well as flour and is not classified as a carcinogen. This wide application exposes people to aluminum; a metal that’s unlike trace minerals and vitamins.

If ingested, this metal accumulates in major body organs including the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver and thyroid. While aluminum competes for absorption with calcium it can have an impact on skeletal mineralization. Among infants, this can be manifested in the form of stunted growth. Animal tests have shown a link between exposure to aluminum and mental impairment.

Aluminum in the Environment

Aluminum naturally occurs in the air, soil and water. High amounts of this element in the environment may be a result of production of aluminum alloys, metals and compounds; as long as activities relating to mining and processing of the metal occur. Smaller aluminum amounts also enter the environment from incinerators and coal fired power plants. Once aluminum enters the environment, it cannot be destroyed; it only changes form or either becomes separated or attached to particles. Aluminum particles found in the air tend to settle on the ground or get washed by the rain. However, tiny aluminum particles can remain in the air for a long time. Most compounds that contain aluminum do not dissolve in water unless the water is highly alkaline or acidic.

Exposure to Aluminum

Human beings become exposed to aluminum in several ways.

1.Food

The primary mode of exposure to this chemical element is through food. Unprocessed foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits and meats have very low levels of aluminum. However, aluminum compounds are added in processed foods such as baking powder, flour, anti-caking agents and coloring agents. On average, an adult in the U.S ingests about 7 to 9mg of aluminum each day from food. Aluminum exposure also happens through air.

2.Air

Many people inhale low quantities of aluminum. Aluminum levels in the air typically range between 0.005 and 0.18 mg per cubic meter depending on the weather conditions, location and nature of industrial activity in that location. Mostly, aluminum in the air takes the form of tiny suspended dust particles. In urban and industrial locations, aluminum levels in the air tend to be higher ranging between 0.4 and 8.0 mg per cubic meter.

3.Water and Soil

Aluminum concentration in natural waters such as streams, lakes and ponds is typically less than 0.1 mg per liter. Generally, people ingest low amounts of aluminum through drinking water. In some occasions, water is treated using aluminum salts to make it fit for consumption. Even with this, aluminum levels often do not exceed 0.1 mg per liter. However, some cities have reported aluminum concentrations as high as 0.4 to 1 mg in their drinking water.

4.Consumer Products

Aluminum exposure also occurs through the use of consumer products such as antiperspirants, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals like buffered aspirin and antacids. Antacids contain 300 to 600 mg of aluminum hydroxide, which is about 104 to 208 mg of aluminum per capsule, tablet or 5 ml liquid dose. Very little of aluminum in this form is absorbed into the bloodstream. Buffered aspirin can contain between 10 and 20 mg of aluminum in each tablet while vaccines have lower quantities of aluminum compounds that do not exceed 0.85 mg per dose.

Why Exposure to Aluminum is Harmful

Aluminum exposure is harmful to the body because it leads to health problems that can lead to chronic conditions. Aluminum is known to attack and damage the central nervous system just like excessive exposure to UV rays degrades the skin or cigarette smoke affects lung functionality. Workers who inhale large quantities of aluminum dust can experience lung problems like coughing and changes that can be detected through chest X-rays. Breathing masks and controlling dust levels in factories helps eliminate this problem. People who are exposed to aluminum fumes and dust also show reduced performance in tests that measure nervous system functionality. According to medical studies, toxic metals produce oxidative stress that contributes to brain ailments. Aluminum is among the worst offenders. Although oral aluminum exposure is not seen to be harmful, a common belief is that high exposure to aluminum is associated to diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, which are degenerative brain ailments. People with kidney disease also tend to store large amounts of aluminum in their bodies because the disease causes little amounts of aluminum to be excreted through urine. At times, such people develop brain or bone diseases that doctors link to excess aluminum in the body. Although over the counter oral products that contain aluminum are generally considered safe at recommended doses, they can have adverse effects on people who use them for a long time.

Aluminum Compounds 

Due to the abundance of aluminum and the fact that its derivatives display low levels of toxicity, aluminum compounds have wide and large scale applications. Aluminum is used in several forms, such as aluminum hydroxide (in antacids), aluminum chloralhydrate (in deodorants), and the most common form, aluminum sulfate (in treating drinking water)

  • 1.Aluminum hydroxide
  • Aluminum hydroxide is not a naturally occurring aluminum. It is a substance that is used in antacids to mask signs of heart burn, which are essentially ways of the body saying ‘stop eating what you are eating’. In some people, aluminum hydroxide can cause allergic reactions such as swelling of face, tongue, throat or lips and difficult breathing. Ingestion of this aluminum compound can also lead to severe side effects such as bloody or tarry stools, stomach pains, tiredness, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, coughing blood, pain while urinating and extreme drowsiness.

2.Aluminum Chloralhydrate

This aluminum compound is commonly present in deodorants or antiperspirants. Though the Food and Drug Administration considers the use of aluminum chloralhydrate in antiperspirants to be safe and it is permitted in concentrations up to 25%, it is not clear whether the use of antiperspirants that contain aluminum can cause breast cancer. Some studies suggest that aluminum compounds can get absorbed into the skin where they cause changes in breast cell estrogen receptors. Since estrogen promotes the growth of cancerous and non-cancerous breast cells, these studies suggest that aluminum based compounds that are found in antiperspirants can be risk factors that contribute to breast cancer development. However, it is not clear how much aluminum can be absorbed through the skin. A study that focused on absorption of aluminum from deodorants that contain aluminum chloralhydrate found that only a fraction amount, about 0.012% of the compound is absorbed. This means that the actual aluminum amount absorbed through the skin is significantly lower than amounts absorbed through ingestion.

1.Aluminum Sulfate

Unlike other forms of aluminum compounds, studies show that aluminum sulfate is not toxic. It is commonly used in treatment of drinking water as well as reducing allergens that cause skin sensitivity. In water treatment, aluminum sulfate is known to enhance coagulation of impurities making it easy to remove them from water. It helps in coagulating water impurities to form larger particles that become heavy and decant to the bottom of the container. This process is known as coagulation. In water purification aluminum sulfate works by reacting with bicarbonate alkalinity that are present in the water to form a gelatinous precipitate that attracts fine particles and other material suspended in raw water. This sedimentation then settles down at the floor of the container leaving the water clean and clear.

Cleaning water with Drops of Balance

water.jpgDrops of Balance is a mineral concentrate that cleans water using aluminum sulfate. It contains ionic sulfate minerals that provides a cost effective and natural solution to cleaning contaminated water and or tap water. This solution uses the coagulation process to cause water impurities to coagulate and decant to the floor of the container, making invisible soluble contaminants soluble and insoluble. This makes it easy to separate impurities from the water through a filtration process that leaves the water safe and clean to drink. Unlike other water purification systems, Drops of Balance includes trace minerals that enrich drinking water that are necessary for the body. Such minerals include zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and potassium among others. In this case Drops of Balance serves as both a water cleaning agent that rids drinking water of heavy metals as well as a water enriching agent that adds essential trace minerals to drinking water making it healthy and fit for consumption. This offers Drops of Balance consumers numerous benefits that range from reduced illnesses that may result from ingesting contaminated water, reduced cost of water treatment, improved organ functionality to reaping maximum health benefits from water that is cleaned and consumed with vital trace minerals. 

Making tap water safe with Drops of Balance

5884b9cdfc3394d88b1250d867129f3c.pngWith Drops of Balance mineral solution, tap water may be cleaned and made safe for consumption. Drops of Balance is a mineral concentrate that uses a sedimentation process to rid tap water of dissolved chemicals, metals and microbes. This water purifying solution works by dissolving invisible metals and toxins into visible insoluble particles. This makes the particulates heavier than the water causing them to sink and collect at the floor of the container. Drops of Balance does more than just clean water; it restores minerals to our drinking water. This easy solution improves the quality of drinking water by replacing minerals that our tap water loses during treatment processes in addition to other factors affecting our water sources.. Drops of Balance contains ionic sulfate minerals that are healthy to the body including but not limited tomagnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. 


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