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Online dialogue forum: consumers ask the BfR about aluminium

27/2014, 16.10.2014

Fifth edition of the interactive online forum "Consumers Ask Questions - the BfR Provides Answers" launched

Entitled "Aluminium in everyday life: A health risk?" the fifth online dialogue forum of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has been launched. Until 27 October 2014, consumers can ask questions on this subject on the BfR website. The BfR will then answer the three most popular questions in the form of a video message. "Many people ask us whether aluminium in food and products can lead to health problems", says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "For this reason, we deal with the subject in our online dialogue forum, meaning that others can benefit from our answers as well." The dialogue forum has been an integral part of the BfR website since 2011.

Humans predominantly ingest aluminium via food and drinking water. However, aluminium is also absorbed from aluminium-containing consumer products, food packaging, drugs and cosmetic products. In food, aluminium compounds can naturally occur, or they can be part of food additives. Cosmetic products can be an important additional source of aluminium intake, for example antiperspirants containing aluminium compounds due to their perspiration inhibiting properties.

Experts assessing possible health risks resulting from aluminium intake concern themselves with a number of questions: How much aluminium can enter the body through the skin? How much aluminium do we absorb from food and products? What health effects can aluminium have?

Time and again, the safety of aluminium has been questioned. This includes the question whether aluminium may be implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. Due to the scientific relevance of aluminium, the 15th BfR Consumer Protection Forum held in Berlin on 26 and 27 November 2014 is dedicated to the subject.

Consumers can ask questions (in german) online at After that, they will have the opportunity to assess all submitted queries. The three questions that get most votes will then be addressed by the BfR in a video message. In addition, scientists will answer further questions at the 15th BfR Consumer Protection Forum. The BfR will publish the event and the answers as a live stream on the BfR website on 26 November 2014.

More information about the 15th BfR Consumer Protection Forum you can find here.

About the BfR

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.