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Are there any health problems associated with using aluminum cookware?

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To begin with, aluminum cookware breaks down every time you wash it with a scrub brush, use metal utensils, etc. However, the amount of aluminum that would be removed would be very minute. Apparently experts state that consumption of this amount poses no health hazard. In fact, foods naturally have low or variable amounts of aluminum. An example would be leavening agents, which contain sodium aluminum sulfate. Most inexpensive cookware is made of an aluminum alloy (aluminum and other metals). I do not believe it that it is unsafe. There is no problem using aluminum cookware. Several years ago, a medical doctor publicly stated that there was an association between exposure to aluminum and Alzheimer's disease. The association has not been validated in rigorous clinical trials. If the consumer is concerned, simply tell him not to use the aluminum pans for long-term simmering of acidic foods, such as chili or spaghetti sauce.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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