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The Pediatric Forum
February 2001

The Aluminum Factor

Author Affiliations

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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(2):202-203. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.2.199

The article by Dr Wyshak1 in the June issue of the ARCHIVES concluded that teenaged girls who drank carbonated beverages had a substantially elevated risk of bone fractures. It was speculated that the high levels of phosphorous in these beverages or the displacement of calcium-rich milk drinks by these beverages may be the biological sources of this effect.

An additional explanation, and one that should be investigated, is the leaching of aluminum into the beverages from aluminum cans. Although aluminum cans are almost always lined with plastic to reduce metal corrosion, several authors have found substantially elevated aluminum levels in cola drinks that are contained in aluminum cans. Duggan et al2 found a 2.7-fold increase in aluminum contamination of cola drinks sold in aluminum compared with glass containers. Others have found similar elevations in aluminum levels as well as flaws in the plastic liners.3,4

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