Our science editor reports that the consensus in the medical community is that using aluminum cookware poses no health threat. More than half of all cookware sold today is made of aluminum because it is lightweight and because it heats evenly.
This is evidenced by the pitting of aluminum foil when it is in contact with these types of foods for more than several hours. Anodization seals aluminum making it scratch resistant and easy to clean.
The average person’s intake from food additives is about 20 milligrams per day. The greater risk from aluminum cans is the plastic resin liner known to leach BPA.
But even more important, “Don’t sweat the Holidays!.” If you do, be sure and replace your antiperspirant with a brand that doesn’t contain aluminum. Dr. Sharon Winters is the author of The Pure Cure: A Guide to Freeing Your Life From Dangerous Toxins.
When you purchase a copy by clicking the link below, a portion of the proceeds benefit Cancer Cancer. First, let’s put this myth to rest: Aluminum pots and pans are perfectly safe.
About half of all cookware is aluminum, usually coated with a nonstick surface or treated for some other purpose. Aluminum is the most abundant metal on the surface of the planet; it’s found in water, food, and common medicines such as aspirin and antacids.
If aluminum pots (or copper pots, for that matter) are untreated, they will react to cooking highly acidic foods such as tomatoes or sauerkraut. This may cause corrosion of the surface and allow a minute amount of aluminum to be released, but less than even an aspirin may contain.
Aluminum cookware is a long-standing kitchen staple due to its low cost and ability to effectively conduct heat. Beyond cookware, aluminum is naturally found in rocks, minerals, clay and soil -- which is how it ends up in the plants we eat.
In addition, aluminum is added to many consumer goods, including some antacids, buffered aspirin, toothpaste, nasal spray and some cosmetics. Beyond cookware, aluminum is naturally found in rocks, minerals, clay and soil -- which is how it ends up in the plants we eat.
In addition, a July 2013 study published in “ISBN Public Health“ found that older aluminum pots leach more of this metal into foods compared to new pots and utensils. A study published in the September 1985 issue of “Journal of Food Protection” estimated food contact with aluminum pans or foil can add an average of 3.5 mg aluminum to the daily diet, an amount the study authors considered insufficient to constitute a health hazard.
This metal can cause lung damage if large amounts are inhaled, and is considered a neurotoxin, or a poison to the brain and nervous system. However, aluminum is very poorly absorbed, making oral intake from cookware or foods less concerning, according to the CDC.
A report published in the February 2001 issue of “Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology” notes that less than 1 percent of ingested aluminum gets into the blood, most of which is excreted in the urine. This metal can cause lung damage if large amounts are inhaled, and is considered a neurotoxin, or a poison to the brain and nervous system.
While this safety issue has not been fully resolved, dietary aluminum is no longer a major suspect in this disease. Also, conflicting research exists on key issues such as cognitive impact of occupational exposure and reliability of animal studies completed on aluminum toxicity.
The dazzling display of pots and pans in your cookware store is impressive, yet confusing. All you want is a saucepan or skillet in which the food won’t stick, that’s easy to clean and doesn’t affect your health.
Hard anodized cookware was at the top of your list until you read about safety issues. The dangers of anodized cookware leaching aluminum into your food was enough to send you back to the cast iron your grandmother used, but even that caused health issues.
Take the case of Teflon, a non-stick coating that took the cooking world by storm. Discovered by accident in 1938, it wasn’t until 1956 that the first commercial cookware coated with Teflon was introduced to the public, under the name of “Total.” Its non-stick properties were heralded by home cooks and chefs everywhere, and the red circle in the center of the pans alerted them to when the pan was heated and ready.
Disclaimers started to appear that the Teflon coating over aluminum was leaching dangerous chemicals into food. Teflon is made with a chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as PTFE.
PTFE has a very high boiling point, making it ideal for high-heat cooking. An overheated Teflon pan may emit fumes that can cause flu-like symptoms.
FOA has been linked to kidney and thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, liver damage and cholesterol concerns. Studies continue, but warnings of toxic fumes caused consumers to turn to other processes that delivered non-stick surfaces.
We all probably have an old, dingy Teflon pan somewhere in our pot cupboard that we rely on when scrambling eggs. Wash with non-abrasive cleansers, not the rough side of a sponge or steel wool.
Watch the professional chefs on television, and you will see that most are using battered aluminum skillets to sauté, flip and fabricate the dishes on their Michelin-starred menus. Aluminum, thin and light, heats quickly and responds to changes in temperature immediately.
It’s also the third most abundant natural element, making aluminum cookware soft on the budget. Unlike stainless steel and cast iron, aluminum cookware is lightweight, as you can see from those television chefs who toss ingredients high in the air with a flick of a wrist.
But when chefs want to add a squirt of lemon to their sauce, aluminum pans lose their appeal. It was in the 1970s when a research team from Canada discovered high concentrations of aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
But it wasn’t until 2007 that a newspaper in Idaho, the Idaho Observer, published a piece officially revealing the toxicity of aluminum, based especially on its ability to accumulate in the body’s tissues and brain. Previous studies also linked aluminum to aspirin, makeup, factory dust, cheese and deodorants, among other products.
There was no escaping the blame on aluminum as the increase in brain dysfunction escalated. Combine a day’s cooking along with environmental factors, and it’s more than likely you’re inhaling or eating more than 35 micrograms.
As with all health alerts, aluminum cookware has suffered the battle of the pots and pans. Cook’s Illustrated magazine tested the theory by making tomato sauce in an aluminum saucepan and storing it overnight in the same pan.
Tested in the morning, the amount of aluminum found in the cup of tomato sauce came to .0024 milligrams, while the amount of aluminum in one antacid tablet is 200 milligrams. Even their science editor claimed that in the medical community, the use of aluminum cookware posed no health threat.
The aluminum oxide is fused into the base metal, eliminating any chance of it peeling away or chipping. Manufacturers use a clear or black hard anodization, but other creative types are now going for colors.
There are too many layers to penetrate, and the hard anodization makes it impervious to wear. But cooking with hard anodized aluminum means adhering to some specific instructions.
There’s a reason it’s some higher priced cookware on the market, and they want you and your pots and pans to share a long life together. Don’t put a hot pan in a tub of cold water.
A good set of pots and pans can last a lifetime if you invest time into research. Buying in sets saves money and gives consistency to your cooking style.
Be sure to check the limitations on your hard anodized aluminum sets. Take time to read the pros and cons of what you are investing in, knowing that whatever set you buy, you won’t be facing any dangers with hard anodized aluminum cookware.