Aluminium is the third most abundant element in the earth's crust and is therefore a natural component of drinking water and foodstuffs and is a component of many manufactured materials.
Food is unquestionably the main source of aluminium intake, whereby the source is considered either primary or secondary. The primary content is the natural content of food caused by uptake from the geologic surrounding during growth and is for all practical purposes unavoidable. The secondary content is the primary content plus any possible contamination from aluminium articles that come into contact with food and additives as well as veterinary drugs, fertilisers and the air. Table 1 shows the main, permissible secondary aluminium sources that may lead to an aluminium accumulation in food. cosmetics and pharmaceuticals such as local therapeutic agents, anti-diarrhoeal drugs or antacids. Increased aluminium exposure can be compensated for by excretion via intestines and normal, healthy kidneys. Kidney insufficiency was shown to result in increased aluminium concentrations in the kidneys of dialysis patients, possibly resulting from dialysis fluids that may contain substantial concentrations of aluminium