Is it Safe to Drink from Aluminum Bottles? | PATHWATER

Is it Safe to Drink from Aluminum Bottles?

Everything you need to know about Aluminum bottles

Spoiler alert, we wouldn’t offer an aluminum bottle without extensive confirmation of it’s safety. Nonetheless we totally support and understand those who on the quest to confirm themselves the safety of drinking from an aluminum bottle. We get it; we’ve all had these questions and concerns at some point. And we support the questioning everything. Which is why we decided tackle the issue on aluminum safety to expose some truths and do what we do best - research and educate on the facts. 

We continue to perform extensive research, digging through studies on aluminum, and now we’ve circled back to investigate the research surrounding the aluminum madness myth. We wanted to understand why so many people are scared of aluminum when there are actual dangerous materials that are killing ocean and terrestrial wildlife by the hundreds every day - single-use plastics. Uncovering these truths is essential because it helps everyone make better decisions based on facts and logic, which in turn keeps us and our planet healthier, not at the whim of gimmicks that permit us to keep the same dirty plastic habits.

After objectively studying the data and analyzing many studies, it’s conclusive there are no findings to back any serious accusations against aluminum. What did come to light and what is vital for us all to know is that: aluminum materials are not harmful to eat with, drink from, or cook with, and it does not cause Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Any claims that say differently originate from a place of ill-informed hysteria dating back to the early 1900s. These claims were based on inconclusive evidence, hysteria, greed from opportunistic businesses which profited from marketing a new ‘aluminum-free’ label to worried consumers.

Who knew aluminum was so full of controversy?!

If you've ever wondered about aluminum's reality, prepare to uncover the truth. Meta-research has helped us unmask the intricate history of aluminum, including its peculiar marketing campaigns and the birth of the anti-aluminum movement. We've encountered both publications that leveraged scare tactics to drive 'Aluminum Madness'  discourse, and publications that stuck to the science and approached the subject objectively.


The Unexpected Aluminum Adversary 

Our story begins with a rather unusual figure, Charles Truax Betts, a dentist with a compelling personal narrative. In 1913, Betts was diagnosed with a severe case of gastritis, with the doctor giving him a mere three months to live, forcing him to close his dental practice. Convinced that aluminum was the culprit behind his illness, Betts eliminated all traces of aluminum from his life, from his home to his kitchen utensils.

Surprisingly, Betts outlived the grim prognosis, and after eight months of recovery, he reopened his dental practice, now in excellent health. He attributed his recovery to the removal of aluminum from his life, thus solidifying his belief that aluminum was a dangerous substance. Though his theory lacked any scientific or medical support, Betts was resolved to make his newfound mission a reality.

Back at his practice, he purged his office of all aluminum and metal instruments, replacing them with alternatives. He then embarked on a singular mission to raise awareness about what he perceived as the dangers of aluminum. Regrettably, Betts didn't consider other potential lifestyle, dietary, or medical changes that might have contributed to his recovery. With scant evidence, he pinned the blame solely on aluminum, inadvertently fostering an atmosphere of unwarranted apprehension.

Determined to spread his unscientific beliefs, Betts began frantically writing about his assumptions. He wrote discourses, pamphlets, articles, and more. He wrote daily until finally, two widely read Jehovah's Witnesses publications, The Watchtower, and The Golden Age picked up the campaign and printed his stories. These publications were sold door-to-door and commonly used stories with scare tactics to increase their vast readership, which equaled big profits for the publications. Betts wrote more than 130 articles that successfully instilled fear about aluminum, created great public concern, and laid the groundwork for the now persistent myth to live on beyond its false abandonment by the science community. New ideas for products began to materialize based on this aluminum scare, which paved the way for a new product industry that is still profitable today and can be seen by their “aluminum-free” cooking labels.


The Profiteering age of “Aluminum-Free Products”

The ripple effects of Betts' anti-aluminum campaign extended beyond The Watchtower and The Golden Age publications. The growing alarm surrounding aluminum became a business opportunity for various companies, leading to the creation of a lucrative "aluminum-free" market.

Cookware and kitchen utensil manufacturers seized this opportunity to market cheaper products at higher profits under the "aluminum-free" tag. This marketing strategy, born out of fear, proved to be a successful move for these companies. Yet, it came at the expense of the public, who were dissuaded from utilizing an efficient, reusable, and recyclable material, simply to boost these companies' sales.

The utilization of aluminum fear as a marketing tactic persists even today. One might be led to wonder—if only aluminum could hire a lawyer to defend itself in the court of public opinion.

Unraveling the “Aluminum Hypothesis”

The Aluminum Hypothesis posits a connection between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). This theory originated in 1965 through the work of three scientists, Wisniewski, Terry, and Klatzo, in what was initially regarded as a serendipitous discovery. They observed changes in the brains of rabbits exposed to aluminum salts, noticing similarities to the conditions found in the brains of AD patients. Convinced by their observations, the trio of researchers proposed a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease.


What went wrong with the Aluminum Hypothesis?

While a breakthrough in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) research would have been monumental, the findings of the 1965 study lacked substantial evidence to validate their claim.

In scientific research, it's common for peers to scrutinize and test a hypothesis to either corroborate or refute its claims thereby contributing to the body of knowledge. This was the case for the Aluminum Hypothesis. Multiple scientists sought to replicate the initial findings, but their efforts did not yield similar results, thereby debunking the original study. Despite their work being widely discredited, Wisniewski, Terry, and Klatzo clung to their hypothesis for a while, even as the broader scientific community moved on. Truly, ego can sometimes be an unwelcome companion on the path of scientific discovery.

Here are just a few reasons why the study had no relevance:

  1. The aluminum salts used on the rabbits did not induce changes similar to Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. The hypothesis proved to be incorrect since two of the factors (variables) being tested disproved the theory.
  3. It proved that aging in the brain due to aluminum had no statistical significance.

Yet the aluminum myth still pervades popular opinion, so much so that the Alzheimer's Association saw the need to state this myth on their myths page.

While some reports indicate elevated aluminum levels in the brains of AD patients, an equal number of Alzheimer's cases exhibit no such aluminum presence. This inconsistency is one of many factors that undermine the theory's validity. Some researchers have further explored whether aluminum can infiltrate the brain and trigger AD, and conversely, whether changes instigated by AD could permit more aluminum to penetrate the brain. Yet, both lines of inquiry have yielded inconclusive results.

There is no definitive evidence that links aluminum to AD, and subsequent research consistently fails to establish that aluminum induces AD. It's regrettable, however, that despite these contradictory findings, the Aluminum Hypothesis persists in some quarters.

So why do some people continue to believe this myth about aluminum?

This may be rooted more in psychology than in hard science. Theodore I. Lidsky, Ph.D. posits that in the absence of concrete explanations for severe and debilitating diseases like AD, unfounded claims often become a scapegoat. Clinging to theories like the Aluminum Hypothesis can provide a sense of hope, regardless of their factual inaccuracies. Many scientists predict that until there's a comprehensive understanding of Alzheimer's Disease, its prevention, and treatment, such myths will likely endure. Therefore, the onus is on us to stay informed, discern truth from fiction, and patiently await scientific advancement.

The Final Verdict: Are Aluminum Bottles Safe for Drinking?

Yes, unequivocally, aluminum is safe for drinking, cooking, and eating, hence our confident choice of aluminum for our eco-friendly reusable bottles. Aluminum, stainless steel, and glass rank among the safest materials for beverage containers. Further ensuring safety, our bottles are outfitted with a BPA-free protective liner.

But aluminum's virtues don't stop at safety; it is also 100% recyclable and infinitely reusable, making it an outstanding choice for both us and our cherished planet. This sustainability credential is what makes PATH the ultimate choice for purified bottled water — a bottle you can keep and refill. Our mission extends beyond just providing water; we aim to transform packaging practices, shifting from the excessive production of single-use plastics to responsible, people-friendly, planet-safe solutions. Hence, we promote reusability first and foremost, followed by recycling.

We harbor a deep appreciation for aluminum. Its versatility empowers us to make superior choices, granted we're equipped to discern fact from fiction. We've consistently prioritized sourcing the safest, most sustainable solutions to our plastic crisis, emphasizing the welfare of people and the planet over profit and self-interest.


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