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monona on: aluminum leaching

updated wed 12 apr 00


Ray Aldridge on tue 11 apr 00

At 04:31 PM 4/10/00 EDT, you wrote:
>But the people who fervently *believe* that aluminum causes Alzheimer's are a
>very vocal bunch who get upset about aluminum in deodorants, in pots and
>pans, etc. I have a feeling that when these people find out that aluminum
>also leaches from pottery, they will be hostile.

In what form does aluminum leach from pottery, and is this form in any way
bioavailable? The aluminum would almost certainly never be in elemental
form, (how hot is a bauxite furnace?) The alumino-silicates that comprise
fired clay and glazes must be about the most stable way on earth to fix
aluminum. Even low-fired unglazed earthenware can survive a thousand years
in the ground without much deterioration.

I'm extremely dubious. We live in a miasma of aluminum-- it's in the
ground we walk on, it's in the soil that supports most of the landbased
life on earth and potters spend their lives with their hands covered with
the stuff. Human beings probably process several pounds of the stuff
through their mucous membranes every month, just filtering ordinary dust
out of the air.

I'd need some pretty definitive cites before I could take this at all
seriously. Though I have to say that Monona is absolutely right about the
potential for well-meant hysteria-- some folks don't require actual facts
before they get excited, so it's a good idea to get the facts marshalled
into a great big hammer we can use to squash any attacks on one of the
essential materials of our art form.


Aldridge Porcelain and Stoneware