Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust, and is present in the environment combined with other elements (eg, oxygen, silicon, fluorine). Exposure to aluminum in small amounts is not harmful. Aluminium in the food supply comes from natural sources including the soil, water, food additives and contamination by aluminium utensils, foil, containers and machinery. Most foods contain less than 5 micrograms (0.0000050 grams) of Aluminum per serving.
“Formula milk exposes babies to high levels of aluminium, experts warn,” The Guardian reports. A team of researchers measured aluminum levels in the most popular infant milk formula brands, including HiPP (the UK version), and claims they could possibly pose a threat to health – a claim disputed by many. The reported study provides no evidence that any infant formula brands are harmful. Most of the infant milk formula brands are well established for many decades and have been used for many generations.
The researchers measured the aluminium content of 30 widely available infant milk formulas and concluded they were "too high". There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of their measurements. What remains unproven is that these levels pose any threat to health.
All the formulas tested had aluminium levels within current health and safety regulations and current levels of aluminium in infant formula are safe.
This study is arguably more of an opinion piece than new research. The fact that infant feeding formulas contain traces of aluminium has been known for years.
However, a compelling case that this represents a public health danger and that the current regulations are wrong has not been made.
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.
HiPP later addressed the concern in a public statement. Their statement reminds parents that HiPP Organic infant milk formula is carefully formulated and meets all legal requirements as well as satisfying the most stringent quality controls. Their statement also mentioned that the levels of aluminum in the products are well within the defined levels set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Lastly, HiPP reassured parents that they are always working to improve their formula and that any new formula produced is always tested to insure aluminum levels are the lowest possible.