MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Even with summer over, many people are still firing up their grills, and using plenty of aluminum foil in the process. A KARE 11 viewer sent our Verify team a story with an alarming headline that claims this commonly-used product could be toxic.
The claim is based on a 2012 study.
"I have seen that and I have read that on a website or two," said Dr. Dan McCabe, a toxicology fellow at Regions Hospital and Minnesota Poison Control System.
McCabe says he's never seen a call come in for aluminum foil toxicity at Minnesota Poison Control.
We showed him the 2012 study. It was done in part by the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, and claims that excessive consumption of aluminum from leaching aluminum foil has "extreme health effects." Among those claims is an allleged link between high concentrations of aluminum foil and Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. McCabe sees many red flags with the study.
"It's a basic science study and you cannot take basic science and expect it to have clinical results," he said. Meaning the study wasn't done on humans or animals, so you can't truly know of any health effects.
"It did not prove that aluminum was going into food. All it showed was aluminum foil was less heavy after they used it on things that were not food and were not actually prepared in ways food would be prepared," said McCabe.
Knowing this, should you be worried about cooking with aluminum foil?
"At this point I would not be concerned," said McCabe. "In a laboratory or with actual humans, it's never been shown to cause harmful effects."
Another red flag for McCabe, he points out that the study was done in part by the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. He says that group funds research to promote plastics.
SOURCE: Dr. Dan McCabe, toxicology fellow at Regions Hospital and Minnesota Poison Control System.