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Food Additives, Contaminants

Risk assessment of the exposure to aluminium through food and the use of cosmetic products in the Norwegian population

Report no: 2013: 20

Ordered: 24.10.2012

Published: 05.04.2013

Main message:

Daily use of antiperspirants will most likely result in aluminium exposure that exceeds the tolerably weekly intake.

This is the main conclusion in a risk assessment of the exposure to aluminium through food and the use of cosmetic products in the Norwegian population performed by the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM).

VKM performed the risk assessment on request by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

The VKM risk assessment shows that in the Norwegian population cosmetic products, and in particular antiperspirants, contribute considerably more than the diet to the total systemic aluminium exposure in persons using such products.

Antiperspirants containing aluminum is the single source that contributes the most to the aluminum exposure in the Norwegian population.

Aluminium is a commonly occurring metal in the earth’s crust and occurs, therefore, naturally in drinking water and agricultural products. Humans are exposed to aluminium through food, drinking water and the use of cosmetic products and pharmaceuticals.

Other sources of aluminium in food are the use of food additives containing aluminium and migration of aluminium from food contact materials to food.

The toxicity of aluminium has been studied in laboratory animals. The acute oral toxicity of aluminium compounds is low. There is no indication of carcinogenicity after long-term exposure. However, chronic exposure to high doses may produce neurotoxicity in adult mice and rats and their offspring.

VKM was asked by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority to calculate the aluminium exposure through food and the use of cosmetic products in the Norwegian population, and to compare this exposure with the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 1 mg Al/kg bw/week established by EFSA (2008) and the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) of 2 mg Al/kg bw/week established by JECFA (2012).

Comments to a SCCS risk assessment on aluminium in cosmetic products

In 2014 the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has conducted a risk assessment on aluminium in cosmetic products.

Following this risk assessment  the Norwgian Food Safety Authority has asked the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety to comment on ceratin points in the SCCS opinion.

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety

T: 21 62 28 00
@: vkm@vkm.no

 

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