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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Does ingesting small amounts of leached aluminium require an ER consultation?

Answered by
Dr. Ivo Ditah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 3919 Questions

Posted on Tue, 23 Oct 2018 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I have a food safety/chemistry question. My wife and I ordered take out pasta last night, which was made with an abundance of tomato sauce. They were brought to us in aluminum take out containers. We didn't finish the meal, so stored them in the aluminum containers overnight. Tonight, we decided to finish the rest, so put the whole container in the oven at 375 degrees F. We started noticing a strange smell from the oven, but couldn't quite pinpoint the source, but it seemed that it could have been the containers themselves. We ate the pasta nevertheless. Since the tomato sauce is known to be quite acidic, could this have corroded the aluminum container in 24 hours? And by heating it up in the same container, did we make it more corrosive? Are we safe if we ingested any potential leached aluminum? Or are there longer lasting health effects? I do seem to have still at metallic aftertaste. Thank you in advance.
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah 7 minutes later
Brief Answer:

You are safe! A one-time exposure, if confirmed, is really not a worry!

Detailed Answer:


I understand your worries and fears. Though possible to have ingested some aluminium following all that transpires, the health risk associated with this is so minimal.

A one-time exposure is just not enough to cause significant uptake and ingestions that could result in aluminium toxicity.

Aluminium toxicity has been reported more frequently among persons being dialysed about thrice a week for long periods with poorly purified water.

That says a lot about how much exposure you need to get for toxicity to be an issue.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Ivo Ditah, Internal Medicine Specialist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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