Blowing the Lid Off Aluminum’s Health Dangers

Research Revealed at the 12th Keele Conference on Aluminum Links the Most Prevalent Industrial Metal to a Laundry List of Diseases

Every other year, for more than two decades, a small group of 70 or so scientists have been meeting at different locales across the globe to discuss their speciality: aluminum and its effects on living things.

The science of a metal used in industries from airplane manufacturing to food packaging may sound tedious, but this three-day Keele meeting (named for Keele University in the United Kingdom where it originated) produces a treasure trove of valuable information about the health impact of aluminium exposure. It’s a conference of the latest science that the $186 billion aluminum industry denies and public health agencies pretend does not exist.

The 12th Annual Keele Meeting on Aluminum last week in Vancouver, Canada, sponsored by the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute, was no exception.  Scientists from 16 countries discussed the latest research about how aluminum impacts plants, animals and humans. We inhale it in pollution, consume it in processed foods, slather it on in toiletries and inject it into ourselves and our babies in vaccines. Neurotoxic aluminium, according to increasing amount of scientific evidence, may stay in the body where it breaches protective barriers, induces wildly oxidative processes and fires inflammation, disrupts genetic transcription, impairs metabolism, accumulates in brain and breasts and testes, is linked to cancer, infertility, Alzheimer’s disease and anxious, aggressive and autistic behaviour.

“Some people think it is harmless, but everyone at Keele understands the toxicity of aluminium,” said Keele biologist and aluminum expert Christopher Exley who launched the meeting.  His research started three decades ago when he began looking into why fish exposed to aluminum in their water died within 24 hours.

Aluminum may be the third most abundant element on earth, said Exley, “but for most of its history, it has been sequestered by silica. It’s only in the last few decades that we’ve managed to put it into biological systems.”

And in the last few decades, as aluminum production has soared globally, research on the health consequences of that industry has steadily accumulated.

Aluminum safety myths

The keynote address of the conference was given by Romain Gherardi from the Neuromuscular Pathology Expert Centre at Paris-Est Créteil University (UPEC) who gave a frightening overview of the most novel and profound aluminum research related to vaccination.


Aluminium oxyhydroxide (Alhydrogel), and aluminium hydroxyphosphate (Adjuphos), are nanomaterials widely used as immune stimulants or “adjuvants” of vaccines. Children have received them in increasing doses from the hepatitis B shot on their day of birth, in diphtheria-tetanus shots given repeatedly in their first six months of life and in pneumococcal, meningitis, HPV vaccines and more.

In at least seven different countries, patients with myalgic chronic fatigue syndrome have been described after they received one of these aluminum-containing vaccines. In France in the late ’90s, Gherardi began taking biopsies of the deltoid muscle of these patients and he discovered lesions in these – clumps of aggregated aluminium hydroxide engulfed in white blood cells called macrophages — at the injection site. Subsequent studies in mice found that aluminum in these cells slowly migrates to their brains where it seems to prefer to settle, permanently. He called the phenomenon Macrophagic Myofasciitis (MMF).

Macrophagic Myofasciitis (MMF)

MMF mainly manifests as joint and muscle pain, fatigue and weakness, cognitive dysfunction, including attention and memory impairment and sleep disturbances. And many MMF sufferers eventually develop one of more than 100 different autoimmune disorders from alopecia to multiple sclerosis, sometimes years after the initial illness. So MMF is described as a facet of “autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants” (ASIA) identified by leading Israeli immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld in 2011.

But the MMF picture is still developing.  Another French researcher, Jérôme Authier, presented his group’s findings published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine this year showing that neuroimaging of MMF patients’ brains by PET-scan reveals distinct patterns of impaired glucose metabolism in multiple regions of their brains.

New research presented by Housam Eidi of the University of British Columbia also looked at mouse brain function and aluminium (Al) concentration long after injections. Surprisingly, the researchers found the lowest dose of Alhydrogel exerts the greatest neurotoxic effects. And small particle size seems to be critical for this brain damage, Eidi explained.

But there is a wide gulf between what scientists have been saying about aluminum and MMF for nearly 20 years and what public health says about aluminum today. Gherardi summed up three basic public health myth about aluminum in vaccines that have been turned on their head by recent research:

Myth No. 1: We are told aluminum in vaccines is safe because it is rapidly excreted from the body; it is not. It persists for years after injection.

Myth No 2:  Public health maintains injected aluminum is localized in the body to the injection site; it is not. Research shows clearly that it is swallowed up by phagocytic cells and migrates via these to other organs and accumulates in the brain where it exerts neurotoxic effects.

Myth No. 3:  Public health toxicology says “the dose is the poison” and extremely high doses of aluminum are needed to do damage. This is not true.  Dose-response studies show that low doses of the smallest sized particles of aluminum are the most toxic and it obeys “particle toxicology,” not dose-dependent….

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