Scientists Link the Use of Aluminum to Breast Cancer, Autism and Alzheimer’s Disease



By TLB Contributor: Christina England

Aluminum has been named as the second most used metal in the world, after steel, largely because it is so versatile. It can be found in our food, drinking water, atmosphere, medication, vaccinations and cosmetics.

According to U.S. Department of Energy [1], the United States’ aluminum industry is the world’s largest, processing 9.6 million metric tons of metal and producing about $40 billion in products and exports in 2003.

However, despite its versatility and its many uses, aluminum has become one of most negatively talked about products used today. In recent months, scientists have linked its use to cancer, autism, Alzheimer’s disease and chemical burns. So, what is being done to protect the public from its many dangers?

Scientists Link Antiperspirant to Breast Cancer

In November 2013, three of the world’s leading scientists, Philippa D. Darbre, Ferdinando Mannello, and Christopher Exley, conducted a study to examine whether or not exposure to high levels of aluminum could lead to breast cancer.

The results of the study supported their theory that continual use of under-arm antiperspirants containing the ingredient aluminum salts could, in some cases, lead to breast cancer, and further studies were recommended.

Their paper, published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, titled Aluminum and breast cancer: Sources of exposure, tissue measurements and mechanisms of toxicological actions on breast biology stated:

“The human population is exposed to aluminum in many ways in everyday living and including the diet,, the dermal application of personal care products, use of antacids and aluminum based adjuvants in vaccinations. However, application of aluminum-based antiperspirant salts to the underarm provides a specific high and lifetime exposure level in the local area of the human breast.”

The scientists pointed out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union (EU) had both issued statements warning the public about the potential dangers of applying antiperspirants containing the ingredients aluminum zirconium and chloride hydroxide to broken skin. They stated:

“Both the USA and EU include statements that these products should not be applied to broken, damaged or irritated skin, but current cultural practices can include shaving before antiperspirant application, a procedure which can create abrasions in the skin, loss of stratum corneum and irritation from hair removal, thereby negating the specific warning by the FDA and EU.” [2]

Interested in their theories, I contacted Professor Christopher Exley, one of three scientists involved in the study and asked him whether or not he believed that more women than men are diagnosed with breast cancer because men were less likely to shave under their arms than women.

Professor Exley explained that there was no certainty whether or not aluminum definitively played a role in the diagnosis of breast cancer and explained that more testing would be needed to establish a firm role for aluminum in the disease. He stated that:

“The fact that women shave could mean that they absorb more aluminum from antiperspirants through their skin than men. Additionally women tend to sweat less than men which could mean that they are less effective in removing aluminum from the body.”

This statement is very true and demonstrates the need for everyone using antiperspirants on a long-term basis to check the ingredients before use.

Philippa D. Darbre, Ferdinando Mannello, and Christopher Exley are not the only scientists to currently be studying the dangers of aluminum.

The Adjuvant Aluminum in Vaccinations is Proven to be Linked to Autism

Canadian scientists Professor Christopher Shaw and Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic have also been studying the affects of aluminum on the human body.

In July 2013, their paper published by Springer Science+Business Media, titled Aluminum in the Central Nervous System: Toxicity in Humans and Animals, Vaccine Adjuvants, and Autoimmunity, revealed that during a 17-year period, the rates of autism had increased significantly in countries that had the most vaccinations containing the adjuvant aluminum.

The researchers compared the number of vaccines recommend by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the period from 1991 – 2008 and the changes in the autism rates during the same period. They wrote:

“The data sets, graphed against each other, show a pronounced and statistically highly significant correlation between the number vaccines with aluminum and the changes in autism rates. Further data showed that a significant correlation exists between the amounts of aluminum given to preschool children and the current rates of autism in seven Western countries. Those countries with the highest level of aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines had the highest autism rates.” (own emphasis)

Professor Shaw and Dr. Tomljenovic continued their paper by adding that:

“There are other links between aluminum exposure/toxicity and ASD. These include the following: A pilot study showed higher than normal aluminum levels in the hair, blood and/or urine of autistic children; children are regularly exposed to higher levels of aluminum in vaccines per body weight than adults; practically, nothing is known about the pharmacokinetics and toxicodynamics of aluminum in vaccines in children; and aluminum in vaccines has been linked to serious neurological impairments, chronic fatigue and autoimmunity.” [3]

If Professor Shaw and Dr. Tomljenovic are correct, then their results are extremely worrying, especially as autism is not the only condition to which their paper linked the adjuvant to. Equally worrying is the fact that this paper, along with a further paper written by Dr. Tomljenovic, linked the use of the adjuvant aluminum in vaccinations to Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists Link Aluminum to Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks of daily living. [4]

In 2010, Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic wrote a paper which was published by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, titled Aluminum and Alzheimer’s Disease: After a Century of Controversy, Is there a Plausible Link? [5]

Her paper revealed that since 1906, the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease had reached global proportions.

Dr. Tomljenovic believes that the level of aluminum children receive in their diet and childhood vaccinations is far in excess of the safe levels recommended. She explains that the BBB (blood brain barrier) in young children is immature and this makes them more susceptible to toxic substances. She stated that:

“According to the latest vaccination schedule, every child in the USA will receive a total of 5–6 mg of Al by the age of 2 years, or up to 1.475 mg of Al during a single visit to the pediatrician (Table 6). This is contrary to the upper limit of 5µg Al/kg/day set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for premature neonates and individuals with impaired kidney function [112]. Healthy neonates may be able to handle more Al, however, there are no such studies available upon which we could safely estimate acceptable upper levels of Al from parenteral or injectable sources in healthy children. In that respect, it is worth noting that the FDA document states that Al accumulation at levels associated with central nervous system and bone toxicity may occur at even lower rates of exposure.”

Reading through her detailed vaccination schedules, you will see that the amount of aluminum a small baby can receive in just one visit to the doctor’s office is of great concern.

According to her vaccination charts, a child aged two months is scheduled to receive the following vaccinations:

Hepatitis B
DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus)
Hib (haemophilus influenzae yype b)
PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)
IPV (polio vaccination)

Using the figures supplied by Dr. Tomljenovic, in just one visit, an eight week-old baby could receive vaccinations containing a cumulative sum of 1.225 – 1.475 mg of aluminum, an amount well in excess of the FDA’s recommendations.

Dr. Tomljenovic stated:

“The long-term consequences of such an aggressive vaccination policy have not been adequately investigated, although it is interesting to note that since the dramatic increase in the number of vaccinations deemed to be required prior to school entry (from 10 in the late 70s to 32 in 2010, 18 of which contain Al adjuvants; Table 6), the prevalence of neurological disorders in children in developed countries has increased by 2000–3000% (from less than 5 per 10,000 [113] to 110–157 per 10,000 [114, 115]). What those who are pro-vaccination assert is that vaccines contain similar amounts of Al to those found in infant formulas [116]. What they fail to stress is that unlike dietary Al of which only ∼0.25% is absorbed into systemic circulation (Table 3), Al from vaccines is absorbed at nearly 100% efficiency [117, 118]. Moreover, the sizes of most antigen-Al complexes (24–69 kDa [119, 120]), are higher than the molecular weight cut-off of the glomerulus of the kidney (∼18 kDa [121]), which would preclude efficient excretion of Al adjuvants. Thus, vaccine-derived Al would have a much greater potential to induce neurological
damage than that obtained through diet.”

If children are receiving well in excess of the recommended doses of aluminum per visit to the doctor, plus the high doses of aluminum in their food and drinking water, then it is fairly safe to assume that if this pattern continues to old age, combined with the aluminum used in other products such as medication and cosmetics, then the long-term effect on the brain could be catastrophic, especially to an elderly person.

Dr. Tomljenovic concluded her paper by stating:

“The hypothesis that Al significantly contributes to AD, more so than any other single factor investigated, is built upon very solid experimental evidence. Al has a direct and active access to the brain where it accumulates in a region-specific manner that highly implicates its involvement in AD. Experimental data clearly shows that all neurophysiological parameters required for AD are efficiently targeted for impairment by Al.”

Interestingly, Christopher Exley, who was chosen to be the Handling Associate Editor of this paper by Dr. Tomljenovic, was thanked alongside C.A. Shaw, J.R. Walton and M.J. Ridd for ‘critical discussions about different parts of this manuscript.’ This is probably because he to has written on aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease for many years.

Professor Christopher Exley Explains How Regular Exposure to Aluminum Can Cause Alzheimer’s Disease

In 2014, Christopher Exley and Thomas Vickers wrote a paper titled Elevated brain aluminum and early onset Alzheimer’s disease in an individual occupationally exposed to aluminum: a case report. [6]

Their paper described the case of a 58 year-old man who had been exposed to aluminum for a number of years in his workplace. The paper explained how the man developed what was described in the paper as a case of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists revealed that the man had been exposed to aluminum sulphate ‘dust’ on a daily basis for over eight years.

They explained that although the man had been supplied with an ordinary mask by his employers, said to protect him from inhaling the dust, within a relatively short time, the man developed headaches, tiredness and mouth ulcers.

The paper explained how, within a few years of constant exposure to the dust, the man suffered problems relating to his memory and depression. Christopher Exley and Thomas Vickers wrote:

“Following his death, aged 66, in 2011, at the request of the family and the local coroner, samples of his brain tissue were sent to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University, UK, for clinical diagnosis and a section of deep frozen frontal lobe was sent to Professor C Exley (Keele University, UK) for determination of tissue aluminum. Clinical diagnosis reported an abundance of argyrophilic β amyloid plaques and a profusion of neurofibrillary tangles in all areas of his cerebral cortex; the neuropathology is consistent with features of advanced Alzheimer’s disease.”

They concluded that:

“The clinical diagnosis of early onset sporadic Alzheimer’s disease showing features postmortem of advanced disease at age 66 is suggestive of aggressive disease aetiology and the probable involvement of aluminum in the onset and progression of the condition. High brain tissue aluminum was similarly implicated in a recent case of congophilic amyloid angiopathy where disease onset was again very early and disease pathology postmortem was highly advanced in an individual in their late 50s [9]. While it is impossible to know if high levels of brain aluminum instigated disease in either of these cases it is highly likely, considering the known neurotoxicity of aluminum, that aluminum was a contributor to disease aetiology, perhaps resulting in an earlier onset and more rapid progression of a nascent condition.” [6]

The work of Professor Christopher Shaw, Lucija Tomljenovic PhD, and Professor Christopher Exley has been supported by many leading worldwide organizations, including the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI). [7] The organization was so impressed by the scientists’ work that they invited them to speak at The 9th International Congress on Autoimmunity held in Nice, France, in March 2014.

For full details of the event and to obtain abstracts from all the papers that were discussed, download the brochure [8] cited at the end of this article.

The conference was such a success that the organizer, child health advocate Ms. Claire Dwoskin, founder of CMSRI, was awarded the AESKU Award 2014 [9] for her efforts.


The dangers of aluminum have been known for many years. Despite being fully aware of the dangers, however, the manufacturing industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the cosmetic manufacturing industry and the food industry continue to use aluminum regularly in the products we use every day. The effect on our health is proving to be catastrophic. Aluminum has already been linked to many devastating conditions, including autism, Alzheimer’s disease, chemical burns and cancer and is likely to be linked to even more debilitating disabilities and illnesses in the future.

It is becoming abundantly clear that our governments are not going to step in and control the amount of aluminum being used in our products today. It is therefore down to us, the public, to take responsibility for our own health and safety and reduce the amount of aluminum that we use. We can do this by choosing to use aluminum-free antiperspirants, cosmetics, cookware and pharmaceuticals.

It is time we took control of our own lives, to preserve not only our future health but more importantly, the health of our children!

Film featuring the work of Christopher Exley



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