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I was looking up lead poisoning the other day, and came upon some information about problems with high exposure to aluminium. The effects of lead as an accumulative poison, especially on young children are fairly well known. However it seems that aluminium in high doses is equally harmful to adults. Apparently it can lead to nervous debility, paranoia, dementia and Alzheimer's. So it's probably very wise to adopt serious precautions in handling it. I was wondering how advanced the major compound and recurve manufacturers are in dealing with this. Certainly would not be good to inhale aluminium dust, or eat your sandwiches without a good wash up. It's made me seriously look at picking up my wooden longbows again. Mind I have heard that some bowyer's have been killed by Yew? :crymeariv
 

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most of the 5 and 6 axis machines that manufacturers use are enclosed and use constant fluid, so there is really no dust involved.
when eveyone used aluminum arrows the saw cutting station at our plant was guarded with suction and the operator had to use a mask at all times.
carbon dust is no joke either! it does not degrade at all, ever. all you breathe in stays with you forever.
 

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I heard about the cooking in alum pots many years ago during a Boy Scout leaders meeting. At that time most camping cook ware was alum. that has no coatings. As for my alum bow handle it has more than enough finish on it to protect me.
 

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The Mad Scientist
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Avoid acidic foods like tomato sauces in uncoated Al pots and pans and you should be good. My jetboil is Al but it's anodized so it's safe especially for boiling water. Acids are what leach metals. One theory on the downfall of the Roman empire was they all went nuts because of wine (which is acidic) stored in lead containers. Another interesting piece of history are the mad hatters. They went nuts from mercury poisoning used in making felt hats.
 

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What causes mad scientists?---Actually Mat is right on about aluminum pans. Fine for sautéing, frying, roasting not for tomatoes and other acid foods.

Also antiperspirants are made from aluminum salts and absorbed through the skin. Deodorants are safer. - lbg
 

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Bottom line, chemicals are dangerous. That is one of the reasons I quit doing wet chemistry and changed to theoretical. Equations don't cause cancer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One theory on the downfall of the Roman empire was they all went nuts because of wine (which is acidic) stored in lead containers.
Another thing the Romans did was provide public water for all their citizens. They built stone aqueducts to bring it into the city, and then used lead pipes to distribute it to every ward. Oops!
 

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I still have a couple non-stick aluminum pans but mostly cook on good stainless. (Thanks, Bow!)

Hasn't aluminum been implicated in Alzheimers'?
 

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Three words.....Stainless Steel Cookware....I use Towncraft brand...Somewhat expensive, but worth it, to me...Ohio is said to have a very high Alzheimers rate, especially here in western Ohio, where there are quite a few aluminum foundries, or at least there used to be...I machine aluminum from time to time, I'll take more care not to expose myself...Take care........Jim
 

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As far as I know, the AL and ALzheimer's link was debunked. The samples were taken with an aluminum spatula and the spatula contaminated the samples. Read that somewhere years ago. The link may have been reestablished but I do not know.,
 

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Here are a couple of med links that gives a pretty good description. The key seems to be build up in various tissues if the input exceeds the bodies ability purge, which could be the result of renal dysfunction. The comment on AL acting as a competitive inhibitor is interesting. That means that AL is "chemically similar" to the intended cation, replacing the intended cation and inhibiting the reaction. That is not a good thing depending on how much it occurs. The second link addresses toxicity on a laymen level. There is no mention of problem from cook pots or other items that we use in our normal daily lives.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/165315-overview

http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=164929
 

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this is from "environment, health, and safety on line".


The Real Facts About Alzheimers and Aluminum - from EHSO



Alzheimers & Aluminum

Question: I have heard that aluminum may be involved in the development of Alzheimer's Disease. Does use of aluminum cookware and drinking from aluminum beverage cans place me at greater risk for developing this disease.

Answer: Aluminum is one of the most abundant elements found in the environment. Therefore, human exposure to this metal is common and unavoidable. However, intake is relatively low because this element is highly insoluble in many of its naturally occurring forms. The significance of environmental contact with aluminum is further diminished by the fact that less than 1% of that taken into the body orally is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.

The average human intake is estimated to be between 30 and 50 mg per day. This intake comes primarily from foods, drinking water, and pharmaceuticals. Based on the maximum levels reported in drinking water, less than 1/4 of the total intake comes from water. Some common food additives contain aluminum. Due to certain additives, processed cheese and cornbread are two major contributors to high aluminum exposures in the American diet. With regard to pharmaceuticals, some common over-the-counter medications such as antacids and buffered aspirin contain aluminum to increase the daily intake significantly.

Over the last few years, there has been concern about the exposures resulting from leaching of aluminum from cookware and beverage cans. However, as a general rule, this contributes a relatively small amount to the total daily intake. Aluminum beverage cans are usually coated with a polymer to minimize such leaching. Leaching from aluminum cookware becomes potentially significant only when cooking highly basic or acidic foods. For example, in one study, tomato sauce cooked in aluminum pans was found to accumulate 3-6 mg aluminum per 100 g serving.

Certain aluminum compounds have been found to be an important component of the neurological damage characteristics of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Much research over the last decade has focused on the role of aluminum in the development of this disease. At this point, its role is still not clearly defined. Since AD is a chronic disease which may take a long time to develop, long-term exposure is the most important measure of intake. Long-term exposure is easiest to estimate for drinking water exposures. Epidemiological studies attempting to link AD with exposures in drinking water have been inconclusive and contradictory. Thus, the significance of increased aluminum intake with regard to onset of AD has not been determined.

Conclusions about a connection between Aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease from other sources and references:

No connection
bulletNIH: "In spite of existing polemics all over the world about the role of Al as a risk factor for AD, in recent years, scientific evidence has demonstrated that Al is associated with the development of AD." bullet Alheimer's Society: "The overwhelming medical and scientific opinion is that the findings outlined above do not convincingly demonstrate a causal relationship between aluminium and Alzheimer's disease, and that no useful medical or public health recommendations can be made − at least at present (Massey and Taylor 1989)." bullet Alzheimer's Organization: "During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat."
Uncertain connection
bullet WebMD: "On the whole, scientists can say only that it is still uncertain whether exposure to aluminum plays a role in Alzheimer's disease."
Positive connection
bulletNone found among major universities, medical organizations, governmental health organizations, etc. There are a large number of unaffiliated dot-com websites that make the claim that there is an association, but none of these conduct research of their own which has been substantiated independently by 3rd parties reproducing their results and thus cannot be considered credible by an objective scientist. Those included below are presented merely to gove voice to an opposing view: bulletRense.com: "Five population studies now link Alzheimer's disease to aluminum in drinking water." bullet ControlYourImpact.com: "In conclusion, the link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s has been well established. The sources used for this article represent a small portion of the research that has been done in this area. This is contrary to the Alzheimer’s Association’s claim that “Almost all scientists today focus on other areas of research, and few experts believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.”
 

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The Mad Scientist
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Al is actually the third most abundant element in the crust, so it's in the soil where food is grown. I have to believe evolution took care of any low level toxicity a long time ago. But too much of anything can be bad for you.
 
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