"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Are Aluminum Baking Sheets Bad For You

Maria Johnson
• Sunday, 01 November, 2020
• 12 min read

Lightweight aluminum is an excellent heat conductor, but it’s also highly reactive with acidic foods such as tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus. In our tests, we detected an unpleasant metallic taste in tomato sauce and lemon curd cooked in aluminum pots.

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(Source: www.ebay.co.uk)


The heat used for at-home baking is not nearly high enough to cause inhalation dangers like what workers at aluminum factories experience. I see folks putting vegetables and butter in foil and wrapping it tightly to roast them . All of which is perfectly safe.

For longer cooking and acidic foods, such as tomato-based sauces or slow simmering of traditional bone broths, safe options include certified toxin-free clay pots (such as Vita-Clay), glass, or ceramic coated cast iron. While it’s possible to salvage your aluminum bakeware (not cookware) and still use it safely, make sure you ditch all Teflon kitchenware.

This article explores the risks associated with using aluminum foil and determines whether it is acceptable for everyday use. People may also use aluminum foil to wrap and protect more delicate foods, like vegetables, when grilling them.

Summary: Aluminum foil is a thin, versatile metal commonly used around the home, particularly in cooking. In its natural state, it is bound to other elements like phosphate and sulfate in soil, rocks and clay.

Regardless, the aluminum content of food and medication isn’t considered to be a problem, as only a tiny amount of the aluminum you ingest is actually absorbed. Generally, the small amount of aluminum you ingest daily is considered safe (2, 7, 8).

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(Source: www.bedbathandbeyond.com)

Such studies have caused concern that the regular use of aluminum foil in cooking could be harmful to your health (9). However, there is currently no strong evidence linking the use of aluminum foil with an increased risk of disease (11).

This is because healthy people can efficiently excrete the small amounts of aluminum the body absorbs (12). Nevertheless, dietary aluminum has been suggested as a potential factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological condition caused by a loss of brain cells. People with the condition experience memory loss and a reduction in brain function (13).

The cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, which can damage the brain over time (14). It is possible that exposure to very high levels of dietary aluminum may contribute to the development of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s (15, 16, 17).

But the exact role aluminum plays in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s, if any, is yet to be determined. Summary: High levels of dietary aluminum have been suggested as a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease and IBM.

silicone sheet baking coated aluminum pan cuisine
(Source: www.deiequipment.com)

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have agreed that levels below 2 mg per 2.2 pounds (1 kg) body weight per week are unlikely to cause health problems (22). The European Food Safety Authority uses a more conservative estimate of 1 mg per 2.2 pounds (1 kg) body weight per week (2).

However, it’s assumed that most people consume much less than this (2, 7, 8) Here are some steps you can take to minimize unnecessary exposure to aluminum when cooking: Avoid mixing aluminum foil and acidic foods: Avoid exposing aluminum foil or cookware to acidic food, such as tomato sauce or rhubarb (23).

Though the rumors about its toxicity persist, research has shown that the amount of aluminum that leaches into food is minimal -- and, more important, that normal intake of aluminum is not harmful. This is why aluminum pots are often lined with a non-reactive substance, such as stainless steel, or anodized, which means that they've been treated to make them non-reactive.

Aluminum prevails in kitchens because it conducts heat well and is durable, inexpensive and relatively light. Steel pans may be tinned, black or blue, or stainless.

Black or blue steel has been treated to make it turn dark and also to make it resist rusting (unless scratched); it also reacts to acidic foods. Stainless looks good and won't rust, but it doesn't conduct or retain heat well.

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(Source: www.ebay.com)

Glass is non-reactive and attractive, but it heats so quickly that a crust may bake faster than the filling. I prefer to line my cake and cookie pans with parchment paper, creating a non-stick surface.

Bakeware is generally functional rather than decorative, so having a matched set isn't important. Large ones are most efficient -- just make sure they're several inches smaller than the inside of your oven so air can circulate around them.

Whether antique ivory or plastic, piano keys usually don't need more than routine dusting and the occasional wipe-down with a barely damp, soft cloth. But you may not want to do this too often because many pianists find very clean piano keys to be slippery and difficult to play.

For this reason, ivory replacement keys are nearly impossible to come by, so it's important to treat them carefully. You can perform surface cleaning yourself, but if the keys are very dirty or stained, have them professionally buffed.

Write to Home&Garden, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, Attn: Good Things, or e-mail home&garden@tribune.com. Some claim it is safe while other sources report that even tiny amounts in baking powder can be harmful.

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(Source: www.ebay.com)

If you ’re not interested in the scientific studies surrounding it, skip to the bottom to learn some practical tips on how you can avoid it. We find it in household items, vaccines, medications, color pigments, paints, explosives, propellants, and fuel additives.

Acid rain can mobilize it from the soil into water, and various industries release its compounds into our air. Coal power plants and incinerates can also release small amounts of aluminum into the environment.

However, only very small amounts of what we ingest, inhale, or absorb through skin will enter the bloodstream. Bioavailability is increased when it is ingested with something acidic (like tomato products cooked in an aluminum pan).

If not eliminated via the kidneys, it will store in the bones, lungs, muscle, liver and brain. Most often, acute toxicity is seen in either those who are exposed via their occupational or living environment, or in people who are at risk because they must undergo certain medical treatments.

Those with reduced kidney function who must receive long term dialysis are exposed to the metal through the dialysis fluid or other medical sources. If aluminum in the body is not properly eliminated by the kidneys or bile, 60% is stored in bone tissue.

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(Source: www.ebay.co.uk)

Increased bone weakness and brittleness are seen in animals exposed to aluminum. Toxicity also leads to the suppression of parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium homeostasis.

In dialysis patients, high levels of serum aluminum (greater than 30 micrograms per liter) have been associated with osteomalacia, softening of the bones, and other related disorders. These problems manifest as difficulty carrying out voluntary and involuntary actions and have a significant correlation to occupational exposure.

Research done on animals, and dialysis patients, make it clear that high levels of aluminum in the CNS can lead to neurotoxicity. Even with this data, it has been difficult to access what concentration of serum aluminum correlates with brain damage.

People who breathe in large amounts of aluminum dusts may develop respiratory problems, such as coughing or abnormal chest x-rays. Most people who develop respiratory illnesses from aluminum do so because their workplaces have high amounts of this dust.

In aluminum industry employees, the most well researched respiratory effect is called Pot room Asthma. The common symptoms of this disorder are wheezing, dyspnea (labored breathing), and impaired lung function.

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(Source: www.gastrocoach.com)

Other changes seen after occupational exposure are: “alveolar protanopia and wall thickening, diffuse pulmonary fibrosis, and interstitial emphysema,” along with some nodule formation. Exposure may also contribute to Shaver’s disease, which is a pulmonary fibrosis seen in workers exposed to fine aluminum powders.

Aluminum may negatively affect hematopoiesis, the body’s process of creating new red blood cells, especially in persons with an underlying iron deficiency. Interference with the metabolism of other metals has been noted, especially an increased excretion of phosphorous.

These are the areas where aluminum exposure gets controversial and there is quite a bit of evidence supporting its possible link to these conditions, though more research is definitely needed. You may have heard that you should avoid aluminum because it can cause Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s disease, or AD, disrupts metabolic processes that are critical in keeping neurons (brain cells) healthy. These disruptions cause neurons in the brain to stop working properly, lose connections with other cells, and then die.

The death of brain cells is what causes the hallmark symptoms of this terrible disease: memory loss, changes in personality, and the inability to carry out daily tasks. While there is still a lot to be understood about Alzheimer’s Disease, research has identified two abnormal structures in the brains of those with AD: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.

(Source: food52.com)

Amyloid plaques, first described by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906, consist mainly of insoluble deposits of a toxic protein peptide called beta-amyloid. The inhibition of intercellular communication can damage the brain cells and cause them to die off.

As neurons die, the affected regions began to atrophy, and the brain begins to shrink, eventually resulting in death. Exposure from drinking water has been extensively investigated, yet the data is difficult to interpret because of the variety of study designs, and their range of quality.

Still, the majority of epidemiological studies have reported a positive association between aluminum levels in drinking water and the risk of AD. Research conducted on brain samples have reported that the concentration of aluminum was higher in the overall brain samples, neurofibrillary tangles, and plaques from subjects with Alzheimer’s disease, than the controls.

It may amplify conditions and promote mechanisms which have a negative effect by “synergistically” worsening cognitive abilities in Alzheimer’s patients. One example is that direct injection of aluminum has been shown to increase markers of oxidative stress in animal studies.

In animal studies it seems that it may affect levels of cholesterol, which may serve as a potential modulator of Alzheimer-type amyloid formation. It could increase the aggregation of molecules known to form lesions in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

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(Source: www.bedbathandbeyond.com)

One study noted that mice fed diets high in aluminum showed increased levels of amyloid. Even so, in several studies where rats and mice were exposed to very high levels of aluminum, the rodents did not show “profound” cognitive impairment.

When administered orally, it did not seem to affect reproductive capacity in either male or females. Exposure during gestation didn’t affect maternal health or development of the fetuses and neonates.

In one study conducted in mice, neurobehavioral abnormalities were seen in offspring whose mothers were given aluminum during gestation and lactation. Aluminum is found is breast milk, but only a small amount will enter the infant’s body via breastfeeding.

Aluminum has been classified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (Arc). These studies claim that those chemicals may then interact with DNA and lead to cancerous changes in cells, or interfere with the action of the female hormone estrogen, which is known to influence the growth of breast cancer cells.

While little of it will be absorbed it may be a concern for those already experiencing high exposures of the metal or those wishing to avoid it completely. If a person must take antacids, it is helpful to wait some time before eating anything sour or acidic, such as citrus and tomatoes.

baking sheet aluminum non stick basics sheets bake
(Source: www.homedepot.com)

Acids make it easier to absorb the aluminum found in antacids. It is also important to note that baking soda does NOT contain aluminum, though there is definitely confusion about this on the internet.

(6) As a simple natural alternative, make your own homemade deodorant with this recipe. While the Environmental Working Group gives this chemical its lowest hazard score, in Canada it is classified as “expected to be toxic or harmful.” If you ’re concerned, make your own sunscreen, use an aluminum -free pre-made version, or use physical measures like hats and shirts to avoid burning.

Aluminum is also present in many other kitchen products like foil, canned goods, water bottles, drink pouches, and tin storage dishes. Some sources claim that foil is safe for storing cold foods, but I still prefer to avoid it.

The best way to predict the aluminum body burden” is to test bone tissue. Aluminum is currently regulated in food, water and consumer products, though not as tightly in the US as in many other countries.

However, this concentration is based on taste, smell, and color; not on if the level will affect the health of humans or animals. The FDA has determined that the aluminum in food additives and medicinal (aspirin and antacids) is “generally safe”.

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It’s another reason why I am glad I eat unprocessed whole foods and stick to all natural beauty products. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine.

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