Aluminum is quite a common metal that is found to be widespread in usage, and is used for building pipes, utensils and many other products. However, some studies have found a connection between Alzheimer’s and aluminum. In March 2017, findings from a research mentioned that abnormally high levels of aluminum were found in Alzheimer’s sufferers’ brain plaque. That led to the question – whether aluminum is safe? It also began to be asked whether aluminum pipes are safe at all?
There is corrosion of aluminum in water, although that takes a long time to happen. Aluminum has been found to be corrosion resistant to water for close to 7pH. It is found not to be corrosion resistant in case of basic water or water having a high pH or acidic water or water with a low pH value.
It is worth noting that this ductile metallic element dissolves in alcohol. It should not be used ever for any part of any apparatus used for the purpose of distillation. The use of aluminum pipes for distillation purposes can result in the accumulation of plaques in the brain. There can be too much of the protein amyloid beta in the brain. Once there is clumping of all the proteins together, communication between cells can get disrupted. The communication disruption leads to the degeneration of nerve pathways, and leads to loss of problem solving abilities, tactical decision making, memory and cognitive functions.
Aluminum does not simply get corroded in water. It also gets oxidized and the new aluminum compounds are introduced into water. Although it has a lower cost than that of copper, it undergoes oxidation in the presence of water. This makes it bad for aquaponics, given that aluminum is known to have fatal consequences for fishes. While that happens from copper as well, that kind of problem happens much longer to occur. When it comes to toxicity of aluminum oxide, only a small amount of data is available.
However, all things considered, it must be mentioned that aluminum pipes are not that bad and do not pose that much of a health risk for humans. It seems to be almost as toxic as any other type of fine particulate matter. It needs to be understood that aluminum is a more or less reactive metal and upon exposure to air a layer of aluminum oxide is formed quickly upon its surface. This keeps the underlying metal safe from any more reaction.