October 20, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

 
 

What is “FOOD SAFE” Aluminum?

In short, it is a made up term that has been used in reference to 1100 aluminum. It is not a technical term, it is not a term used in the metal industry, it is not a term used by any recognized organization or data base such as the FDA, the EPA or the CDC. So does that mean that 1100 aluminum is NOT safe? Not at all. It just means that “Food Safe” aluminum doesn't actually exist. It is simply a term that someone made up to deceive people into believing one product was better than another. The alloys that we work with are JUST AS SAFE, and are also used to create eating utensils and food storage containers. They are just stronger and sturdier than 1100 aluminum.
 

But isn't 1100 aluminum NONTOXIC and HYPOALLERGENIC?

You bet it is. But so are the alloys we work with. Because ALL aluminum alloys are considered nontoxic, not just 1100. And we do not use alloys that contain nickel, so our alloys are also hypoallergenic!
 

What about LEAD?

Ok, so now we know that “Food safe” aluminum doesn't exist. We know that all aluminum is nontoxic. What about LEAD? It has been suggested that only 1100 aluminum is lead free. Could that be true, or is it also a made up fact? You guessed it, it's not true! 1100 aluminum alloy actually DOES contain lead, but only in trace amounts. Nearly every aluminum alloy available is just as lead free. There are some exceptions however: “Lead. Normally present only as a trace element in commercial-purity aluminum, lead is added at about the 0.5% level with the same amount as bismuth in some alloys (2011 and 6262) to improve machineability.”
 

Take your Multi-Vitamin

The alloys that we use do not contain lead. They may however contain Manganese or Magnesium. These materials are added to give strength, durability and hardness. Is that bad? NOPE. Magnesium is so awesome that I won't even try to list all of it's benefits; it is absolutely essential to your health!! Just google it and see what the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has to say on the subject. And here is what the EPA says about Manganese:“Manganese is naturally ubiquitous in the environment.  Manganese is essential for normal physiologic functioning in humans and animals, and exposure to low levels of manganese in the diet is considered to be nutritionally essential in humans.” So no worries about Manganese or Magnesium. You have to have them to be healthy. But because you won't be able to absorb them through your skin by wearing an aluminum bracelet, You won't be able to forgo your daily multi-vitamin. :)
 

What about ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE?

Bet you have heard that exposure to aluminum can cause it, right? Here is what the Alzheimer's Association has to say about it:“Myth 4: Drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.Reality: During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.” Still worried? Don't be. If you wear your aluminum bracelet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the rest of your lifetime, you still won't absorb as much aluminum through your dermal layers as you take in by eating a single antacid tablet.
 

Why don't we use 1100 Aluminum?

We do. In fact, we use many different alloys for our blanks. Because different alloys work better than others for different applications. 1100 aluminum is incredibly soft.....it is  28 on the Brinell scale. It is very easy to stamp on, but also incredibly easy to bend out of shape, something many people don't want as an attribute for their jewelry. It is great for the small hearts, circles, squares and rectangles used to make pendants, but not always the best choice for bracelets. Once a bracelet has been bent out of shape, it is very difficult to re-form it so that it looks good again. So while we do offer 1100 aluminum, we recommend caution if you want to use it for bracelets.
 

So, what does all this mean? To sum it up:

“Food Safe Aluminum” is not a real thing
Aluminum is Nontoxic
Aluminum does not contain lead, with a few exceptions. Which we don't use.
Aluminum won't cause Alzheimer's disease
You still have to take your Multi-vitamin
 

Other fun facts:

An average adult in the United States eats between 7-9 mg of aluminum daily in their food.
Each antacid tablet you eat to get rid of those after-food blues contain between 104-208 mg of aluminum.
America’s favorite beverage container, the aluminum can, is made from multiple aluminum alloys.  The shell of the can is composed of 3004 and the lid is made from 5182. Sometimes it takes more than one alloy to make one, everyday item.
The iPhone 6 extrusion was made from 6xxx series alloy.
Apple®’s aluminum Watch, released in 2015, was made from a custom 7xxx series alloy.