Where else might aluminum be found?
This heavy metal surrounds us everywhere: in the air, in the soil, in the water, but usually in very small, safe concentrations. The problems begin when we begin to surround ourselves with things rich in aluminum.
- Aluminum cookware. Many people still do not know about the dangers of aluminum. Therefore, if you still have aluminum cookware, don’t regret it, throw it away!
- Antiperspirants – deodorants contain large amounts of aluminum, which is absorbed through the skin pores! Don’t forget that everything you apply to your skin gets inside and, in the case of aluminum, also accumulates!
- Many skin care products, shampoos, conditioners, decorative cosmetics.
- Most medications, especially those that promise to cure heartburn. And also almost all vaccines.
Cooking in foil is harmful! |
Food-grade aluminum foil is often used for baking fish, meat or vegetables.
This method of cooking has potential health hazards due to the fact that aluminum from foil easily transfers into food, especially when heated and in an acidic environment.
Cooking in aluminum cookware is not as harmful as cooking in foil.
The human body has the ability to get rid of aluminum and excretion of small doses is not a problem. Small doses of aluminum do not pose a health threat.
The WHO has established a safe daily intake of aluminum at 1 mg per kilogram of body weight. For example, for a person weighing 60 kg, the permissible daily intake is 60 mg of aluminum.
Microdoses of aluminum are present in various foods – corn, cheese, salt, herbs, spices, tea, etc.
We receive certain doses of aluminum from the use of pharmacological agents such as antacids and antiperspirants.
Aluminum sulfate is used to purify drinking water and can enter the human body through water.
In general, small doses of aluminum that a person receives daily are considered safe.
The main consumption of aluminum occurs through food.
Cooking in aluminum foil can significantly increase the amount of aluminum in your diet, so cooking in foil is harmful!
For a healthy, safe diet, it is best to avoid using aluminum foil for cooking.
It is important to be aware of aluminum concentrations in food when using foil for cooking and to consider any known proven risks.
Pots and other aluminum cookware tend to oxidize, providing an inert layer that prevents aluminum from leaching into the food. When washing dishes, this protective layer is erased. But as soon as you boil water in this pot several times, its inner surface oxidizes again, becoming dull, creating a natural protection that prevents aluminum from leaching.
Cooking in aluminum foil is a completely different story. Aluminum foil is disposable and we are unable to create an inert layer on it before using it.
The study linked below showed that migration of aluminum into food wrapped in aluminum foil during cooking resulted in aluminum concentrations significantly higher than safe levels recommended by the World Health Organization.
Aluminum has a much higher chance of getting from foil into food in an acidic environment when preparing dishes using tomatoes, lemon, cabbage, sour cream, pickled cucumbers, rhubarb, etc., as well as when using table salt and alcohol. Acid, salt and alcohol dissolve aluminum and it easily penetrates into food.
Research shows that aluminum foil should not be used for cooking. Instead, stainless steel, glass or porcelain containers are recommended as safe containers.
For example, cooking meat in aluminum foil can increase the aluminum content of the finished dish by up to 378%!!!
Foil is less hazardous for wrapping and storing cold foods for short periods of time. But during long-term storage, aluminum will inevitably begin to react with the product stored in foil.
The results of the study linked below indicate that the level of aluminum in milk stored in aluminum cans and in milk products packaged in aluminum foil pouches is beyond acceptable limits and suggests a health hazard.
Why is aluminum dangerous and what health risks can it pose?
The main danger of aluminum is that it is neurotoxic!
Soluble aluminum salts are absorbed from the digestive tract into the blood and the metal settles in the gray matter of the brain. Aluminum affects a number of neuronal processes, such as increasing protein synthesis and neurotransmitter breakdown, decreasing neurotransmitter reuptake, and slowing axonal transport.
Aluminum accumulation has been implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
High concentrations of aluminum have been found in the brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to the potential role of aluminum in brain pathology, several studies suggest that dietary aluminum may be an environmental risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease.
Of course, it is impossible to completely remove aluminum from your diet, but we can reduce the amount of aluminum in our body to a minimum.
For this you need:
– Do not buy or consume industrial products in aluminum containers or packaging (canned food, semi-finished products and ready-made food in aluminum containers, dairy and other products in packaging with an inner layer of aluminum foil, etc. ).
– Do not use aluminum cookware or other aluminum kitchen utensils.
– And most importantly, do not cook in foil and do not use aluminum foil to store food.
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Study confirms suitability of aluminum foil for environmentally friendly food packaging
A study recently conducted by the Institute for Energy and the Environment (IFEU) in Germany challenges the widespread belief among consumers that disposable products have a much greater negative impact on the environment compared to reusable products. The results of the study showed that household aluminum foil is an environmentally friendly alternative packaging option, and its results are not inferior to reusable plastic food containers, and in some respects even surpass them.
Today’s consumers want packaging for their home-cooked meals that is convenient and environmentally friendly, while also properly protecting the food. Until recently, it was believed that aluminum foil was an unsuitable material due to its unsatisfactory environmental performance, which even led to bans on its use in some kindergartens and schools in European countries. At the same time, hard plastic food containers are widely considered environmentally friendly. The results of the IFEU study tell a different story.
The environmental performance of aluminum foil is better than previously thought
The new data is based on a full life cycle assessment (LCA) commissioned by the European Aluminum Foil Association (EAFA) to assess the environmental impact of both packaging options: single-use household aluminum foil and reusable rigid plastic food containers .
In the main scenario, the environmental impact of using household aluminum foil, including all stages of its production, was compared with the impact of washing reusable plastic containers in an energy-efficient dishwasher. The plastic from which the containers are made was not included in the assessment because it is reused many times during the life of the food container. The IFEU study has convincingly demonstrated that the environmental impact of washing a plastic food container is equivalent to, or in some cases greater than, the environmental impact of an appropriately sized piece of aluminum foil.
Different behaviors and end-of-life parameters (different foil thicknesses, number of sandwiches, and different detergents) were also studied in several scenarios. In all scenarios, the ISO14044 full life cycle assessment, which included independent review, showed that the household aluminum foil performed on par with or exceeded the plastic container.
IFEU project manager Frank Wellenreuter wrote the following in the recommendations section of the life cycle assessment: “From an environmental point of view, aluminum foil performs as well as the plastic containers with which the comparison was made. The environmental impact caused by household aluminum foil is less than that of plastic containers in the main important impact categories and is at the same level in the remaining categories. Therefore, using an appropriate amount of aluminum foil to package one or two sandwiches on the European market (EU27 2) should be considered environmentally responsible behavior.” IFEU has previously carried out full life cycle assessments, including assessments commissioned by the German Federal Environmental Agency.
The versatility of aluminum foil: effective and environmentally friendly protection
Consumers should be reassured by these research results, since until recently aluminum foil was not considered environmentally safe for use for these purposes. The full life cycle assessment carried out clearly showed that the use of aluminum foil for sandwich packaging is environmentally responsible, both from an environmental protection and environmental performance point of view.
Aluminum foil provides unsurpassed protection for sandwiches from the harmful effects of sunlight, air and unwanted odors. Whether you plan to eat your sandwich during your lunch break at school or the office, or just want to satisfy your hunger on the run, household foil packaging is a convenient and responsible choice. Of course, once the foil is used, it can be reused or recycled.
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A way has been found to recycle aluminum foil
A researcher from the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University in Belfast (UK), Ahmed Osman, obtained a pure single crystal of aluminum from contaminated foil. The project is being implemented as part of the university’s research program “Sustainable Energy”. The results of the study, published in the scientific journal Nature Scientific Reports, are reported on the university website.
According to the scientist, the idea to recycle foil came to him while walking around the university. ” I was walking through labs in Queens and saw a lot of used aluminum foil. After talking to my colleagues, I did an experiment and was amazed at how pure the single crystals turned out – I wasn’t expecting a 100% effect. The resulting alumina (aluminum oxide) is purer than its commercial counterpart,” Osman noted.
According to the scientist, from the resulting crystals it is possible to create a catalyst (a substance that accelerates a chemical reaction) for the production of dimethyl ether, an environmentally friendly fuel for diesel engines. It is almost as efficient as diesel fuel, but produces fewer CO2 emissions and contains no sulfur.
Technology will help solve the problem of aluminum waste. While pure metal is successfully recycled, most foil is sent to landfills or incinerated. Packaging material is usually contaminated with organic matter and cannot be recycled. About 20 thousand tons of foil are thrown away annually. In the UK alone, in 2001, 160 thousand tons of aluminum were in landfills.
According to Osman, producing the catalyst from foil is almost half the cost of producing it from virgin raw materials (costing £120 and £305 respectively). The scientist hopes that the technology will reduce the production of aluminum from bauxite (rock) and reduce the damage to nature. When processing mining ore, red mud is formed – a mixture of oxides of iron, silicon and titanium. This waste is almost impossible to dispose of. During the industrial process, greenhouse gases are also released.
According to the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), aluminum production has a carcinogenic effect on humans. According to expert calculations, recycling 1 kg of aluminum foil would preserve 8 kg of bauxite, prevent the release of 4 kg of chemicals and save 14 kW of electricity.
Material provided by project “1”.
Away from meat
Moreover, the higher the temperature of cooking food in foil or aluminum cookware, the more toxins the metal releases. Most often, aluminum becomes dangerous when it comes into contact with red meat and poultry.
At the same time, you can store prepared food in foil in the refrigerator: at low temperatures, aluminum particles cannot get into the food.
The harm of foil is obvious. There are a number of ways to help preserve your health:
• you should permanently stop using foil anywhere. It is not dangerous only when used as a wrapper for cold foods. But for greater safety, it is advisable to use glass containers;
• Do not use foil as a wrapper for storing spices, tomatoes and all citrus fruits. The acid they contain leach aluminum from the foil into the food;
• you should get rid of aluminum cookware. At the slightest opportunity, it should be replaced with stainless steel;
Many women have long replaced foil with food parchment. It is completely safe for health. Join us!
Share useful information with your friends, let them know too!
Benefits of baking foil
First, we’ll tell you why every housewife strives to have aluminum foil in her kitchen. Everything is obvious here:
- foil does not absorb fats during cooking;
- its packaging is absolutely sealed and does not allow the products to absorb foreign odors;
- food wrapped in foil cooks faster, and also does not burn and does not leave stains on the dishes;
- due to its opacity, this material retains all minerals and vitamins in products when exposed to sunlight;
- The glossy surface of aluminum foil has antibacterial properties and prevents the development of microbes;
- foil can be used for heat treatment in an oven, and food wrapped in it can be frozen.
Indeed, aluminum foil is in great demand by modern cooks, because fish, meat or vegetables baked in foil become tender, juicy and fragrant. In addition, all products prepared in this way retain maximum beneficial properties.
How to protect yourself
1. Leach aluminum from household items before using them. To do this, boil water in pots or bowls until the surface becomes matte. You need to boil spoons and forks in water.
2. Replace aluminum foil with cooking paper.
3. Do not store liquid foods and dishes with high acidity in aluminum containers. For example, if you have cooked compote in an aluminum pan, it would be correct to pour it into a carafe before storing.
Why aluminum is harmful to our body
Now let’s think about the possible consequences. In fact, aluminum is toxic and can cause anemia, cystitis, damage to the skeletal system, kidneys and liver. Moreover, all this has scientifically proven facts. And high levels of aluminum were found in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
It has also been proven that aluminum in large quantities slows down the growth of brain cells, which is also extremely dangerous, especially for children and adolescents. There are suggestions that this toxic metal may cause infertility and certain types of cancer. Finally, food baked in foil is unsafe for pregnant women, as the toxic metal can penetrate the placental barrier and reach the fetal brain.
And here many experts agree that a small aluminum content does not harm a healthy body. However, if a person has problems with the liver or kidneys, or is predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, regular exposure to particles of this metal can cause complications or the development of these diseases.
Finally, one more interesting fact. Although today there are no officially confirmed cases of diseases caused by the use of aluminum foil, countries such as France and Italy, England and Germany, Brazil and Holland have already abandoned the use of this product in cooking.
What can replace aluminum foil?
The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, parchment paper. Parchment paper cannot be easily twisted in all directions, like foil, and it lets everything through. But it can be used in several layers.
Although there are no proven studies yet that at normal temperatures, foil “contaminates” food with aluminum, you can play it safe and first wrap the food in parchment paper, and then in foil on top.
Aluminum foil is certainly useful in the kitchen, but it is not that safe, so keep it away from direct contact with food.