FAQs about aluminium in food and products intended for consumers

Updated BfR FAQ of 13 December 2019

Numerous foods and products intended for consumers contain aluminium and its compounds. In food, aluminium compounds can occur naturally or as part of food additives. In addition, aluminium ions can, under certain conditions, be transferred to food from food packaging and tableware.

In addition to food, cosmetic products, such as aluminium containing antiperspirants and toothpaste with whitening effect are a significant source of intake. Furthermore, aluminium compounds can also be contained in lipstick as colour pigments, in toothpaste in the form of aluminium fluoride, or as coating of nanoparticles in sun cream.

Both journalists and consumers frequently ask the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) questions about the possible health risks of aluminium in foods and consumer products. Against this background, the institute has summarised the most important information on the subject.

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