Nonfood Uses

Aluminum compounds are widely utilized by industry. They are used in the paper industry, for water purification, in the dye industry, in missile fuels, in paints and pigments, in the textile industry, as a catalyst in oil refining, in the glass industry, and as components of cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations. Of these, the uses within the cosmetic/ pharmaceutical industry are of particular significance since they provide the most likely sources of aluminum uptake by the body.

The following are major cosmetic/pharmaceutical uses of aluminum compounds:

• Aluminum hydroxide as an antacid, particularly for patients suffering from peptic and duodenal ulcers

• Aluminum hydroxide as an effective, nonab-sorbed phosfate binder for patients with longstanding kidney failure

• As a component of buffered aspirin

• Aluminum hydroxide and monostearates as components of some vaccines/injection solutions

• Aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium glycine complex, and aluminum chlorohydrate as the active ingredients of antiperspirants

Many of these applications are under review and their use is discouraged where alternatives of equal efficacy are available and where the potential for high aluminum uptakes exists. For example, both calcium carbonate and lanthanum sulfate are possible alternatives to the long-term use of aluminum hydroxide as a phosfate binder.

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