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FAQs about aluminium in food and products intended for consumers

BfR FAQ of 20 July 2020

Aluminium and its compounds are contained in numerous foods and products intended for consumers. In food, aluminium compounds can occur naturally or as part of food additives. In addition, aluminium ions can, under certain conditions, be transferred to food from food packaging and tableware.

In addition to food, cosmetic products such as toothpastes featuring the so-called "whitening effect" represent a relevant source of intake. In addition, aluminium compounds can also be present as colour pigments in lipsticks, in the form of aluminium fluoride in toothpaste, as a coating of nanoparticles in sunscreens or as aluminium chlorohydrate in antiperspirants. However, taking into account a new study on the intake of aluminium through the skin, the aluminium absorption from antiperspirants is considerably lower than previously assumed. The contribution of this intake source to the total aluminium intake is therefore very small.

Both journalists and consumers frequently ask the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) questions about the possible health risks of aluminium in foods and products intended for consumers. Against this background, the institute has summarised the most important information on the subject.

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20.07.2020
BfR FAQ
FAQs about aluminium in food and products intended for consumers 87.6 KB
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