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Most Indian households use aluminium utensils. This is true across all economic strata and is not limited to poor families (who use more of them).

In low income families, a lot is aluminium is used in the kitchen. From plates to tea kettles to cooking vessels

In middle class and higher income Indian families the almost universally found aluminium vessels are pressure cookers and the containers kept inside the pressure cooker, as also baking trays.

Aluminium leaches into our food from these vessels and gets into our bodies.

This is not the only way aluminium gets into our bodies. Other common culprits are under arm deodorants. A lot of them contain aluminium. It gets absorbed into our bodies via our skin.

Some families use alum (fitkari in hindi) for various purposes, from water purification, to after shave blood clotting agent. It is also found in some ayurvedic tooth powders and is an astringent. Alum is an aluminium compound and some of the aluminium gets into our bodies.

Aluminium toxicity is increasingly being linked to a host of diseases. The most alarming and convincing evidence is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and bone disorders.

Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease is one of the biggest upcoming public health problems in India, and worldwide. The chances that you or someone from your family will be a victim of Alzheimer’s is actually pretty high.

I recommend that you get rid of aluminium vessels from your kitchen. Switch to stainless steel, glass or ceramic. Do not buy water bottles made of aluminium. Ask for stainless steel or copper instead.

Check the ingredient labels of the deodorants you buy and buy brands that clearly state on the pack that they are “aluminium free”. Many do. Avoid using alum for water purification or as an aftershave coagulant, and do not use tooth powders containing alum.

Here is a good summary of aluminium toxicity –

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