Ghouls and goblins may be spooky, but what should really give you the creeps this Halloween is the decorative makeup you might be putting on your face. New evidence from the nonprofit Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan shows many novelty face paints used for Halloween are tainted with toxic heavy metals like cadmium and lead.
Your Halloween Costume May be Hazardous to Your Health
Researchers at the Ecology Center tested 31 types of novelty makeup you can find on the shelves of big name outlets and party stores all over the country. Every single product contained traces of some kind of metal, but that is just the beginning. More than half of the products contained cadmium, a toxic heavy metal linked to cancer, birth defects and brain damage. Other toxic metals like mercury and lead were also detected.
Even more disturbing is the popularity of these products with children. Kids dressing up as comical clowns and blood-sucking vampires routinely have their faces painted to match, but dress-up can turn ugly if toxic metals are involved. Children are especially at risk because their growing bodies and developing brains are more vulnerable to toxins like heavy metals. The health campaign director of the Ecology Center says parents should err on the side of caution until we know more about what levels of these metals are safe or unsafe for our children.
Representatives of some of the manufacturers insist their products have been tested to ensure legal levels of heavy metals, but health advocates say legal levels for topical products may be far too high. Not enough testing has been done to determine how much of these products are absorbed through the skin. Our skin is highly permeable, and putting these toxic metals on our skin may be no more safe than putting them straight into our mouths.
This Halloween the wise choice would be to avoid commercial makeup by either making your own at home or simply going without. When it comes to your health and that of your children, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Montgomery Alabama USA
Horsham Victoria Australia
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Doctors and investigators involved in the DePuy hip recall have been particularly interested in the effects of two metals present in the ASR hip replacement device – cobalt and chromium. The general working hypothesis in the recall case at this time is that the movement of metal on metal in these replacement joints causes small particles of the metals to shed over time, allowing the buildup of these substances in the patients’ tissues and bloodstreams. This eventually leads to heavy metal toxicity, causing the death of many tissues surrounding the affected joint, leading to increased pain, decreased mobility, and ultimately to prosthesis failure.
Take the case of Katie Ayers, a Florida resident who received the ASR device at age 36. Prompted by increasing pain and a gradual loss of mobility, Katie was talked into receiving the ASR device by an eager physician. “It was supposed to be the latest and greatest. It was supposed to be perfect for a younger female and it all sounded great to me,” Ayers reported to CBS.
Later, when Ayers learned that the device was undergoing a recall, she went to her physician for testing and counseling about what steps to take. Blood tests showed elevated levels of Chromium and Cobalt in her blood, consistent with the pattern found in other patients who had received the ASR device. At the time, Ayers did not report any particular symptoms of pain, so it is likely the degradation in her unit was caught and dealt with early. She has since received an alternative hip replacement, though she had thought she would not need such an operation for another 15 or 20 years.
What Ayers’ case shows is that the symptoms associated with the chromium and cobalt toxicity from degrading ASR or other metal on metal hip replacements do not start immediately. It apparently takes time for the toxicity to build to a level that causes the pain and degraded motion experienced by other victims of prosthesis failure. This means that the damage could be developing for some period of time without a patient noticing any outward symptoms.
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Santa Rosa, California
Henderson Nevada USA
Darwin Northern Territory Australia
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Heavy metals are natural metallic elements – mercury, lead, zinc, copper, arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, nickel, tin uranium, barium, bismuth, and platinum. Some of these metals, like zinc and copper, are required in trace amounts by our bodies for optimum health. However, other heavy metals that have been found in our bodies serve no purpose once in our bodies, and they’re actually toxic to our systems. On their own, our bodies cannot completely eliminate toxins once they’ve been introduced, so they continue to accumulate with repeated exposure. Heavy metals are all around in our environment – in our air, soil, water supply, food, cosmetics, products we use on a daily basis, factory and auto emissions, medicine, fuel and personal care products, not to mention in the vaccines that can be introduced into our systems on a systematically scheduled basis.
Children absorb toxins much quicker than adults. They are also more susceptible to the effects that heavy metals can leave in their systems, which can possibly lead to neurological and psychological disorders. Symptoms of toxicity can include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, memory problems, seizures, coma, irreversible brain damage and cardiovascular problems. And what’s worse is, the more of the metals in the body, the more damage can occur; high concentrations can even eventually cause death. Because there are so many toxins in the environment, everyone has at least some trace amounts in their system. Studies have revealed that individuals who live in polluted or industrial areas may have a higher concentration of heavy metals than those living in non-polluted areas. But if this is true, why isn’t everyone ill from the effects of these heavy metals in our bodies?
We all don’t become notably ill from heavy metal toxicity because all humans do not process every contaminate in the same manner; some of us experience compromised immune systems while others go on to experience good health. The degree to which people are affected by toxic heavy metal exposure will depend on their body’s immune system and their ability to process these heavy metal toxins.
Heavy metals have been linked to diseases and disorders like autism, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, cataracts, HIV infection, respiratory infection, Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, heart attacks, strokes and pulmonary fibrosis, to name a few. And studies have shown that heavy metals in the system of a mother can be transmitted to a fetus. When this happens, exposure then to environmental factors can lead to an accumulation of toxic heavy metals within a fetus’ system. Later on in life, if the child’s body does not produce enough antioxidants to detoxify the metals, this exposure can result in health disorders, such as autism.
People with autism are often deficient in a protein that’s naturally produced by the human body – glutathione; a powerful antioxidant that helps the body detoxify toxic heavy metals. Without glutathione, heavy metals have no natural way eliminate from the human body.
So what does glutathione have to do with autism and the levels of heavy metals in the system of someone on the autism spectrum? Research has shown time and time again that autistic children most often have an excessive level of heavy metals in their bodies, especially mercury.
Studies show MaxGXL – a top-selling glutathione supplement – increases glutathione levels in individuals on the autism spectrum as it reduces levels of other toxic, heavy metals within the human body. In these studies, caregivers of individuals with autism also noticed a reduction in many problematic behaviors associated with autism.
Fairfield California USA
Cotonou (de facto capital)
City of Lake Macquarie Australia
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Heavy metals in our diet are a serious threat. Here is one example: it is has been known for decades that Cadmium in our food is a health problem. Cadmium, which can cause kidney disease and cancer, is a natural part of the earth’s crust. Its presence, though, in the wider environment is increased by human activity. Cadmium is used in the electroplating of other metals such as steel because it is especially resistant to corrosion. It is also used as a stabilizer in PVC plastics. It is a major component of rechargeable “NiCad” (Nickel-Cadmium) batteries.
Cadmium is released into the environment through the mining and smelting of zinc, Lead and Copper, the combustion of coal, wood and oil, waste incineration and the application of phosphate fertilizers or sewage sludge to soil. Cadmium released into the air eventually settles on land, including land used for food production. As well, agricultural crops, such as potatoes, wheat, rice and other grains absorb Cadmium from their surrounding soils or directly through their leaves. So you see it is not difficult to determine how the contamination occurs and yet industry continues to release these toxic metals into the environment despite evidence that they reach our food supply.
Another example is Lead: Negative effects may be caused by Lead at any concentration, especially in children. Lead is in prepared foods, fast foods, fats and oils and meat. Lead has no known biological function in humans. It is poorly absorbed by the body from the digestive system, though children can absorb Lead much more readily than adults. The slow rate at which it is eliminated from the body leads to a build up of this toxic heavy metal in the bones and red blood cells.
One of the main sources of Mercury poisoning is eating contaminated fish. In Canada an advisory was issued warning women of childbearing age and children to limit consumption of shark, swordfish and fresh tuna to one meal per month. It is important to note, though, that not all fish are considered risky in the context of Mercury contamination. Fish is high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which are known to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. Therefore, rather than avoid all fish, it is more prudent to find good substitutes for the risky fish.
In Our Water
Many Americans are exposed to high levels of heavy metal toxicity from drinking contaminated water. With Lead, for example, it is estimated that 40 million Americans drink water containing levels exceeding the safe limit set by the EPA. (Which, is set way too high considering no amount of this metal in our systems is safe.) The Lead contamination comes mainly from Lead plumbing in older homes and soldered joints in Copper pipes.
Other common heavy metals found in tap water include Copper and Arsenic. Copper serves as a co-factor for many enzymes and is required in the diet in small amounts for normal health. However, high doses of Copper are dangerous to health. A single dose of 15 mg Copper can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. More severe toxicity can cause liver and kidney damage. The Copper in tap water comes from corrosion of Copper pipes and can accumulate overnight. In this case, flushing the tap before using the water is highly recommended.
Arsenic is also a common contaminate in tap water. Several public water supplies were found in mid 2001 to have very high Arsenic levels. It has been shown that there is a real risk of cancer from levels far below the current EPA Standard of 50 parts per billion.
Mercury from environmental contamination (derived mainly from coal-fired power plants and medical and municipal incinerators) eventually enter our water system through soil, rivers, streams and lakes. The form of Mercury hazardous in drinking water is the inorganic form, which can easily be converted to the organic form, methylmercury, by bacterial action present in soil and water environments.
Heavy Metals and Cancer
Metals can directly and indirectly damage DNA and that means an increased risk of cancer (we call this genotoxicity). There are also possibly non-genotoxic pathways, due to irritation or immuno-toxicity.
There are a number of metals known to be carcinogenic. These are:
Arsenic and Arsenic compounds,
Beryllium and Beryllium compounds,
Cadmium and Cadmium compounds,
Nickel compounds and hexavalent chromium.
The usual target is the lung, though Arsenic has a unique association with skin cancers that has been recognized for many years.
Most health care professionals and researchers assume that heavy metals have to be taken into account only when a patient is showing definite symptoms of poisoning. It’s time they wake up to the fact that our health and well-being is affected by much lower levels of heavy metals than previously assumed.
Even metals necessary to maintain a healthy body will cause toxic reactions when they are in quantities the body cannot handle. In the case of excess exposure to Manganese, neurotoxic effects include weakness, slow and clumsy gait, speech disturbances, and tremors. Zinc is required for the proper functioning of hundreds of enzymes and is therefore the most abundant metal in humans. It can be found in all tissues and tissue fluids but overexposure to zinc has been shown to cause anemia. Children are at particularly at risk of negative health effects due to intake of these heavy metals above normal levels.
Finally, let’s not forget our four legged friends. Besides environmental issues, pet foods tested by atomic absorption methods show Aluminum levels (also Lead and Mercury) ranging from the lowest of 17 ppm (in canned wet foods) to 855 ppm in the kibbled product. Kibble production by dehydration would, as expected, increase the content of the metals over canned. I was shocked at the high levels in well-respected products made by supposedly conscientious manufacturers. Considering the evidence, they must know about the widespread contamination of their products. So why aren’t they fixing the problem?
There are many obvious steps we can take to reduce the hazards of heavy metal poisoning and a number of effective methods of eliminating heavy metals toxins already in our bodies.
Realistically, we cannot seal ourselves in an airtight setting and have our food, water and air shipped in from another world; a world that is clean. So what are we to do to protect ourselves? Clearly we cannot run and hide from our environment. Granted, some areas of the world are far less contaminated than others but for most of us moving to those areas is not an option.
Anyway, though, there is no place left on earth untouched by at least some pollution. For example, Lead expelled from automobile exhaust into the air above our cities 20 years ago can be found in high concentrations in the Antarctic today.
Areas that are prone to acid rain are at an exceptionally high risk. The increased acidity makes the metals more soluble in water and, as a result, they are consumed in drinking water. Even if all heavy metal production were to stop today, enough heavy metals have been released into our environment to cause chronic poisoning and numerous neurological diseases for generations to come.
While we cannot escape from our surroundings we can, beyond a doubt, make sure that at least our home settings are relatively free of heavy metals and other toxins. Air and water filtration systems are readily available today that are very effective and essential for vital health. Those of you who follow my teachings know how important, I believe, that clean water and air are to maintaining essential health. I can’t say that enough times. Your good health depends on it!
Unfortunately there are no filtration systems for the food we eat but we can decrease the amount of toxins we ingest by following a few simple rules. Organ meats like liver and kidney, peanut butter, shelled seeds, cooking fats and salad oils, cured pork and beef should all be limited in your diet. Junk foods, frozen dinners and fast foods top my list of foods to banish forever from our lives. They all contain heavy metals at levels ten times or greater than comparable fresh food. Also, stay away from all refined foods, prepackaged cooked foods, refined flours, baked goods, processed cheeses and acidic drinks. Acidic drinks can dissolve metals such as antimony, cadmium, tin and zinc from the enamel in pots, metallic cans and solderings in soft drink or soda cans.
Steer clear of larger fish known to be contaminated with methylmercury like tuna fish. As well, stay away from all fish known to come from lakes or areas recognized to have high levels of Mercury pollution. Use only fresh foodstuffs and healthy supplementation and if at all possible buy organically grown produce. Remember you are in control, keep the junk out of your home and it won’t be a problem.
Do not deliberately contaminate your body! Use your head! Stay away from products and materials known to be toxic like tobacco, cosmetics, canned goods, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, dental amalgams and vaccines that contain Thimerosal, a mercury preservative. In the workplace; if you are exposed to hazardous materials, make sure you wear protective clothing and gear.
Antiperspirants contain aluminum that is absorbed by your body. It’s best to avoid it all together and use simple soap and water instead. Deodorants aren’t as bad as antiperspirants, but I would still avoid using them. Other things to avoid are: Aluminum cookware, Aluminum foil, over-the-counter drugs, (These include many antacids, anti-diarrheal drugs, buffered aspirin and other drugs used for pain and inflammation.) some baking powders. (Most baking powders contain aluminum as an additive but health food stores carry non-aluminum varieties.)
The effects of toxic metals can range from subtle symptoms to serious diseases. Since metals build up in your body over time, symptoms are often attributed to other causes and people often don’t realize that they have been affected by metals until it’s too late. Prevention is the best defense when it comes to metal poisoning.
Toxic heavy metal contamination is so pervasive in our environment that it is no longer a question of whether one has been exposed to toxins, but rather the level of exposure. In most cases damage to your system can be reversed and any further harm can be prevented by removing the metals. The process of removing toxic heavy metals from the body is useful in all chronic diseases and for those wishing to stay well and healthy. I have seen the incredible health benefits in my patients when they remove these harmful toxins from their bodies.
The method of removing heavy metal toxins from the body is called Chelation Therapy. Chelating (pronounced key-layting) agents are substances which can chemically bond with, or chelate (from the Greek chele, claw), metals, minerals, or chemical toxins from the body. The chelating agent actually encircles a mineral or metal ion and carries it from the body via the urine and feces.
There are natural chelation agents such as essential oils and organic acids found in green healthy foods including acetic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, and lactic acid that have the natural ability to dissolve heavy metal salts so they can be eliminated. Besides detoxification of toxic chemicals and metals, natural chelation processes in the body are responsible for other things as the digestion, assimilation and transport of food nutrients, the formation of enzymes and hormones.
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Definition of a Heavy Metal
“”Heavy metals”” are chemical elements with a specific gravity that is at least 5 times the specific gravity of water. The specific gravity of water is 1 at 4°C (39°F). Simply stated, specific gravity is a measure of density of a given amount of a solid substance when it is compared to an equal amount of water. Some well-known toxic metallic elements with a specific gravity that is 5 or more times that of water are arsenic, 5.7; cadmium, 8.65; iron, 7.9; lead, 11.34; and mercury, 13.546 (Lide 1992).
Beneficial Heavy Metals
In small quantities, certain heavy metals are nutritionally essential for a healthy life. Some of these are referred to as the trace elements (e.g., iron, copper, manganese, and zinc). These elements, or some form of them, are commonly found naturally in foodstuffs, in fruits and vegetables, and in commercially available multivitamin products (International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre 1999). Diagnostic medical applications include direct injection of gallium during radiological procedures, dosing with chromium in parenteral nutrition mixtures, and the use of lead as a radiation shield around x-ray equipment (Roberts 1999). Heavy metals are also common in industrial applications such as in the manufacture of pesticides, batteries, alloys, electroplated metal parts, textile dyes, steel, and so forth. (International Occupational Safety and Heath Information Centre 1999). Many of these products are in our homes and actually add to our quality of life when properly used.
Toxic Heavy Metals
Heavy metals become toxic when they are not metabolized by the body and accumulate in the soft tissues. Heavy metals may enter the human body through food, water, air, or absorption through the skin when they come in contact with humans in agriculture and in manufacturing, pharmaceutical, industrial, or residential settings. Industrial exposure accounts for a common route of exposure for adults. Ingestion is the most common route of exposure in children (Roberts 1999). Children may develop toxic levels from the normal hand-to-mouth activity of small children who come in contact with contaminated soil or by actually eating objects that are not food (dirt or paint chips) (Dupler 2001). Less common routes of exposure are during a radiological procedure, from inappropriate dosing or monitoring during intravenous (parenteral) nutrition, from a broken thermometer (Smith et al. 1997), or from a suicide or homicide attempt (Lupton et al. 1985).
As a rule, acute poisoning is more likely to result from inhalation or skin contact of dust, fumes or vapors, or materials in the workplace. However, lesser levels of contamination may occur in residential settings, particularly in older homes with lead paint or old plumbing (International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre 1999). The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in Atlanta, Georgia, (a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) was established by congressional mandate to perform specific functions concerning adverse human health effects and diminished quality of life associated with exposure to hazardous substances. The ATSDR is responsible for assessment of waste sites and providing health information concerning hazardous substances, response to emergency release situations, and education and training concerning hazardous substances (ATSDR Mission Statement, November 7, 2001). In cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the ATSDR has compiled a Priority List for 2001 called the “”Top 20 Hazardous Substances.”” The heavy metals arsenic (1), lead (2), mercury (3), and cadmium (7) appear on this list.
• Note: The ATSDR provides comprehensive protocols called Medical Management Guidelines for Acute Chemical Exposures in Volume III of the Managing Hazardous Material Incidents Series. These protocols have a Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number and give a description of toxic substances; routes of exposure; health effects; prehospital, triage, and emergency medical department care; antidotes and treatment; disposition and follow-up; and reporting instructions. The series may be viewed or downloaded from the ATSDR web site at no cost.
Commonly Encountered Toxic Heavy MetALS
As noted earlier, there are 35 metals of concern, with 23 of them called the heavy metals. Toxicity can result from any of these metals. This protocol will address the metals that are most likely encountered in our daily environment. Briefly covered will be four metals that are included in the ATSDR’s “”Top 20 Hazardous Substances”” list. Iron and aluminum will also be discussed even though they do not appear on the ATSDR’s list.
Arsenic is the most common cause of acute heavy metal poisoning in adults and is number 1 on the ATSDR’s “”Top 20 List.”” Arsenic is released into the environment by the smelting process of copper, zinc, and lead, as well as by the manufacturing of chemicals and glasses. Arsine gas is a common byproduct produced by the manufacturing of pesticides that contain arsenic. Arsenic may be also be found in water supplies worldwide, leading to exposure of shellfish, cod, and haddock. Other sources are paints, rat poisoning, fungicides, and wood preservatives. Target organs are the blood, kidneys, and central nervous, digestive, and skin systems (Roberts 1999; ATSDR ToxFAQs for Arsenic).
Lead is number 2 on the ATSDR’s “”Top 20 List.”” Lead accounts for most of the cases of pediatric heavy metal poisoning (Roberts 1999). It is a very soft metal and was used in pipes, drains, and soldering materials for many years. Millions of homes built before 1940 still contain lead (e.g., in painted surfaces), leading to chronic exposure from weathering, flaking, chalking, and dust. Every year, industry produces about 2.5 million tons of lead throughout the world. Most of this lead is used for batteries. The remainder is used for cable coverings, plumbing, ammunition, and fuel additives. Other uses are as paint pigments and in PVC plastics, x-ray shielding, crystal glass production, and pesticides. Target organs are the bones, brain, blood, kidneys, and thyroid gland (International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre 1999; ATSDR ToxFAQs for Lead).
Number 3 on ATSDR’s “”Top 20 List”” is mercury. Mercury is generated naturally in the environment from the degassing of the earth’s crust, from volcanic emissions. It exists in three forms: elemental mercury and organic and inorganic mercury. Mining operations, chloralkali plants, and paper industries are significant producers of mercury (Goyer 1996). Atmospheric mercury is dispersed across the globe by winds and returns to the earth in rainfall, accumulating in aquatic food chains and fish in lakes (Clarkson 1990). Mercury compounds were added to paint as a fungicide until 1990. These compounds are now banned; however, old paint supplies and surfaces painted with these old supplies still exist.
Mercury continues to be used in thermometers, thermostats, and dental amalgam. (Many researchers suspect dental amalgam as being a possible source of mercury toxicity [Omura et al. 1996; O’Brien 2001].) Medicines, such as mercurochrome and merthiolate, are still available. Algaecides and childhood vaccines are also potential sources. Inhalation is the most frequent cause of exposure to mercury. The organic form is readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract (90-100%); lesser but still significant amounts of inorganic mercury are absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract (7-15%). Target organs are the brain and kidneys (Roberts 1999; ATSDR ToxFAQs for Mercury).
Cadmium is a byproduct of the mining and smelting of lead and zinc and is number 7 on ATSDR’s “”Top 20 list.”” It is used in nickel-cadmium batteries, PVC plastics, and paint pigments. It can be found in soils because insecticides, fungicides, sludge, and commercial fertilizers that use cadmium are used in agriculture. Cadmium may be found in reservoirs containing shellfish. Cigarettes also contain cadmium. Lesser-known sources of exposure are dental alloys, electroplating, motor oil, and exhaust. Inhalation accounts for 15-50% of absorption through the respiratory system; 2-7% of ingested cadmium is absorbed in the gastrointestinal system. Target organs are the liver, placenta, kidneys, lungs, brain, and bones (Roberts 1999; ATSDR ToxFAQs for Cadmium).
Discussion of iron toxicity in this protocol is limited to ingested or environmental exposure. Iron overload disease (hemochromatosis), an inherited disorder, is discussed in a separate protocol. Iron does not appear on the ATSDR’s “”Top 20 List,”” but it is a heavy metal of concern, particularly because ingesting dietary iron supplements may acutely poison young children (e.g., as few as five to nine 30-mg iron tablets for a 30-lb child).
Ingestion accounts for most of the toxic effects of iron because iron is absorbed rapidly in the gastrointestinal tract. The corrosive nature of iron seems to further increase the absorption. Most overdoses appear to be the result of children mistaking red-coated ferrous sulfate tablets or adult multivitamin preparations for candy. (Fatalities from overdoses have decreased significantly with the introduction of child-proof packaging. In recent years, blister packaging and the requirement that containers with 250 mg or more of iron have child-proof bottle caps have helped reduce accidental ingestion and overdose of iron tablets by children.) Other sources of iron are drinking water, iron pipes, and cookware. Target organs are the liver, cardiovascular system, and kidneys (Roberts 1999).
Although aluminum is not a heavy metal (specific gravity of 2.55-2.80), it makes up about 8% of the surface of the earth and is the third most abundant element (ATSDR ToxFAQs for Aluminum). It is readily available for human ingestion through the use of food additives, antacids, buffered aspirin, astringents, nasal sprays, and antiperspirants; from drinking water; from automobile exhaust and tobacco smoke; and from using aluminum foil, aluminum cookware, cans, ceramics, and fireworks (ATSDR ToxFAQs for Aluminum).
Studies began to emerge about 20 years ago suggesting that aluminum might have a possible connection with developing Alzheimer’s disease when researchers found what they considered to be significant amounts of aluminum in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients. Although aluminum was also found in the brain tissue of people who did not have Alzheimer’s disease, recommendations to avoid sources of aluminum received widespread public attention. As a result, many organizations and individuals reached a level of concern that prompted them to dispose of all their aluminum cookware and storage containers and to become wary of other possible sources of aluminum, such as soda cans, personal care products, and even their drinking water (Anon. 1993).
However, the World Health Organization (WHO 1998) concluded that, although there were studies that demonstrate a positive relationship between aluminum in drinking water and Alzheimer’s disease, the WHO had reservations about a causal relationship because the studies did not account for total aluminum intake from all possible sources.
Although there is no conclusive evidence for or against aluminum as a primary cause for Alzheimer’s disease, most researchers agree that it is an important factor in the dementia component and most certainly deserves continuing research efforts. Therefore, at this time, reducing exposure to aluminum is a personal decision. Workers in the automobile manufacturing industry also have concerns about long-term exposure to aluminum (contained in metal working fluids) in the workplace and the development of degenerative muscular conditions and cancer (Brown 1998; Bardin et al. 2000). The ATSDR has compiled a ToxFAQs for Aluminum to answer the most frequently asked health questions about aluminum. Target organs for aluminum are the central nervous system, kidney, and digestive system.
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