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Old 27-09-2010, 16:45   #1
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Aluminum Water Tanks / Health Concerns ?

Are there any health concerns related to aluminum water tanks? In unrelated threads I've seen it mentioned in passing that they aren't suitable for fresh water, but I haven't seen anything concrete.

Do I have anything to worry about, or am I just paranoid because of all the aluminum in my system? ...twitch... ...twitch...

Thanks.
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Old 27-09-2010, 16:52   #2
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not sure but it would seem no better or worse than plastic tanks, why not put a filter at the tap .. to give you peace of mind
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Old 27-09-2010, 16:58   #3
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Aluminum tanks are fairly commonly used as water tanks on boats and are an approved material. The only caution is to not use chlorine as a disinfectant to purify the water as you will create an aluminum salt precipitate which will clog your filters and generally be a pain in the rear end. Doing the typical once-a-year treatment wouldn't create too much of a problem as long as you flush thoroughly afterward. A more effective and longer lasting alternative for disinfection is the use of peroxide which will not react with the aluminum and provide the same disinfection efficacy if done properly.
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Old 27-09-2010, 17:20   #4
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The common water filter will do nothing to remove metal ions (dissolved aluminum compounds, or dissolved screwdrivers) from the water. Aluminum makes up 8% of the earth, very common stuff. I'm pretty sure our bodies can handle it okay.

Antiperspirants are loaded with aluminum...there's your worry.
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Old 27-09-2010, 19:03   #5
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I would worry.

Coat with epoxy.

There is a lot of yakkin about ingested aluminum. I don't think walking around on that 8% is an issue.

(I don't care to drink screwdrivers much either.)
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Old 27-09-2010, 19:11   #6
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I don't care to DRINK boat water unless it is an emergency
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Old 27-09-2010, 21:21   #7
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I generally use boat water for making coffee or hot water, washing up me and dishes, and in our fresh water head.
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Old 27-09-2010, 22:07   #8
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Not to hijack your thread, how about the old cast iron tanks.. I've seen a few yachts with them around as well!! Which is the safest type tank if you really needed to have one to use all of the time??
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Old 27-09-2010, 23:03   #9
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Not to hijack your thread, how about the old cast iron tanks.. I've seen a few yachts with them around as well!! Which is the safest type tank if you really needed to have one to use all of the time??
Polyethylene, stainless steel, aluminum. But use the food grade stuff made by someone who knows what they are doing. There are versions of all materials that are safe and others unsafe due to heavy-metal alloys, plasticizers, coatings (like the epoxy advice above...epoxy has nasty phenols, no less).

I'd use commercial food-grade polyethylene tanks myself. They stay clean and are easy to clean. My stainless steel tanks on the other boat rust a tiny bit, which one sees in the last bit of water from the sputtering tank.

The aluminum paranoia is unfounded. You cannot avoid it. Food processing, tanks, medicines, kitchenware, baking powder, flour, beer, cheese and salt even. The dust we breath has more aluminum in it than anything else. It's just silly. The medical problems are related to aluminum getting into the body thru dialysis or IV meds using impure water...not likely to happen on a boat. The paranoia started in the 1970's and never went away. To avoid aluminum is simple, just don't drink, eat or breathe.
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Old 27-09-2010, 23:18   #10
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Just because we are surrounded by aluminium, doesnt mean its ok to go on exposing ourselves to it. Strong links to alhzimers from ali, and spray on deodorants, carbonated drinks cans and kitchen utensils are a big worry

To say there is an absense of evidence isnt evidence of absence
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Old 28-09-2010, 00:12   #11
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Strong links to alhzimers from ali, and spray on deodorants, carbonated drinks cans and kitchen utensils are a big worry
The research linking aluminium to Alzheimer's disease is presently inconclusive. Using aluminium utensils has not been linked to aluminium toxicity.
I would worry more about using aluminium containing medicines and antiperspirants.
I don't think drinking water from aluminium tanks would produce significant exposure but if you worry you may minimize drinking tank water. And then, of course, worry about exposure to PET, BPA and bottled water contamination.
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Old 28-09-2010, 00:33   #12
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We've had them in our boat for 25 yrs. One tank ate away from the outside, the other two are still fine. The water tastes OK and my brain still seems to work. Regards, Richard.
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Old 28-09-2010, 00:43   #13
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I'd heard that the aluminium scare was just that - a scare! Back in the seventies people weren't really sure about the levels of badness in aluminium, the just knew it was bad. So, there's us, been using an aluminium pot for mulling the grape juice on the beach every christmas. But now, you have to go and make me wonder again, and it turns out aluminium's gonna kill us: ALUMINIUM UTENSILS AND DISEASE The Dangers Inherent In the Widespread Use of the Metal by H. Tomlinson, M.B., Ch.B., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P.

Darn - I'll have to mull the juice in my stainless steel pressure cooker now. Maybe it'll be faster. Oh, and our water tanks are made of aluminium too - but tit's too big a job to change them, so never mind!
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Old 28-09-2010, 00:50   #14
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An even better one: "even if it is absorbed in moderate quantities, aluminium is apparently harmless. It certainly gives no symptoms even when taken in amounts far in excess of amounts which could be derived from aluminium utensils during cooking."

This one is from a medical journal: THE PREJUDICE AGAINST ALUMINIUM COOKING UTENSILS

Ahhh. Good. Now I feel safe again!
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Old 28-09-2010, 08:46   #15
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We use tank water for all purposes. (poly tanks)

I stated there is "a lot of yakkin" about aluminum.

Glad to hear it may not be a problem and glad I don't have to research in depth to decide about drinking from an aluminum tank.

Do I have to research in depth what I am ingesting from my poly tanks?

If not the poly tanks then it would be those plastic bottles and cubes of water.

I guess I am not going to win and get out alive.
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