Since I am not a medical doctor but a chemist I
can only answer what I found by doing some
searching on the web. If you are concerned with
your health it is always best to discuss these
issues with your doctor.
In my opinion it is safe to cook in aluminum
pans and it is definitely fine to let your pet eat
out of an aluminum pan. The controversy about
aluminum started with a report in 1970 that brains
of people with Alzheimer's disease contained
abnormally high levels of aluminum. At that time
it was not clear whether the increase is part of
the cause of the disease or a result.
Because it has long been known that aluminum
from cookware can leach into food people started
to get worried about cooking with aluminum pots
and pans. But aluminum is also the third most
abundant element on earth. It's everywhere -- in
soil, water and air. Because it's so ubiquitous it
is ultimately in the water we drink and the plants
and animals that we eat. Aluminum may be ingested
in over-the-counter medications, certain antacids,
buffered aspirin. Normal daily ingestion of
aluminum is 10 milligrams (but one antacid tablet
can contain 50 milligrams of aluminum or more)
mostly from food; cookware contributes only about
one or two milligrams of the total.
The FDA however recommends that food,
particularly acidic or salty foods, should not be
stored in cookware (aluminum or other) for
extended periods of time. I found a quote in a
Scientific American Article which I will copy for
Leonard Berg is a professor of neurology at the
Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Louis; until recently, he directed the Alzheimer's
Disease Research Center there. He replies:
"There is no proof, and the current consensus
is that aluminum does not play a major role in the
development of Alzheimer's disease. But because
the causes of the disorder are not understood at
this time, one cannot rule out the possibility
that aluminum could play a minor role. In our
Center, we do not recommend that people avoid
aluminum cooking pans or aluminum-containing
antiperspirants or antacids because there is
little evidence that such lifestyle changes are
helpful. Moreover, it is impossible to avoid
ingesting a certain amount of aluminum, which is
found naturally in food and water."
I hope this is helpful.
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