You may have heard myths about over-exposure to aluminum and whether it’s linked to things like Alzheimer’s or autism. But that is all they are... Myths based on decades-old studies that have since been debunked many times over. The truth is that it’s safe to drink from aluminum—very safe—according to science, data, and industry leaders alike. Of course, safety is a top concern when it comes to what you serve your family, so let us put your mind at ease.
Aluminum Bottled Water Is Safe. Period.
As the most common metal, making up 8 percent of Earth’s crust, aluminum is abundantly present in our lives. Beyond having a presence in man-made items like cookware or packaging, it also circulates naturally through the food web.
The average person consumes about 2-10 milligrams of aluminum per day, which is significantly less than the recommended limit—23 milligrams daily for an adult weighing 175 pounds. Not to mention, almost all of the aluminum we consume is eliminated without being absorbed. To put a finer point on it, our bodies absorb less than 1 percent of the aluminum in our food or drink, and 95 percent of this is cleared within 24 hours. And what do all of these facts and figures prove? That it is safe to drink from aluminum.
One of the most common rumors circulating about aluminum is that it is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. This is based on research conducted more than 50 years ago that used types and amounts of aluminum that are very different from what our bodies actually absorb. Since then, scientists have conducted more rigorous studies on aluminum’s impact on the brain and concluded that there is no connection between Alzheimer’s and aluminum. This is further supported by the Alzheimer’s Association and the United Nations International Programme on Chemical Safety, among others. Similar myths that aluminum causes autism, cancer, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis have also been debunked, further proving that it is indeed safe to drink from aluminum.
That’s not to say that aluminum hasn’t ever caused problems, but it is often in extreme cases, and not related to your everyday consumption. For example, in elderly people with impaired kidney function, or workers being exposed to high volumes of aluminum dust or fumes. And then there’s the issue of BPA…
BPA-Free Is Key
BPA is a common material—more than 6 million tons were produced in 2018, making it a top-produced synthetic globally. This is surprising when you consider that it is not only banned in infant products, it is also reported to stimulate estrogen in the human body, which can impact puberty, fertility, body fat, and our nervous and immune systems.
Why do we care about BPA when discussing whether it’s safe to drink from aluminum? Because, in addition to hardening plastic containers, BPA is occasionally used to line aluminum cans to create a barrier between the food and the can. We say occasionally because the majority of cans today—about 90%—are BPA-free, instead lined with polyester and acrylic.
When it comes to BPA-free aluminum canned products, Mananalu proudly represents the majority, meaning that our bottled water is safe. Our cans are coated in a thin layer of paint that is both eco-friendly and 100 percent plastic-free. The liner does not impact the recyclability of our cans either—recycling facilities simply remove the paint and often use it to heat the furnace that melts the actual aluminum. How’s that for a circular economy?
Plastic Bottled Water On the Other Hand? Not So Safe.
Like aluminum, people have questioned whether plastic bottled water is safe. But unlike aluminum, when it comes to the safety of plastic, the answer is not a straightforward “yes.” In fact, it’s not really a “yes” at all.
Knowing what we do about plastic’s limited recyclability, we understand the temptation to reuse your single-use plastic water bottle again and again. But, we would urge you to reconsider. This is because phthalates, which are often added in the plastic manufacturing process to make the material more flexible, can be released when heated. This chemical is linked to fertility issues, cardiovascular disease, childhood obesity, and is also banned from many children’s products. Plastic bottles should also not be reused if they show even the slightest sign of cracking, as that could lead to chemical leaching.
All this is to say, that when it comes to product safety, it is safe to drink from aluminum cans that are BPA-free. Whether plastic bottled water is safe? The answer is murkier. As if we needed another reason to opt for aluminum over plastic...here it is!
Shop water in aluminum.