Kenyan cooking pots and water as source of dietary aluminium
Ngila, Jane Catherine
MetadataShow full item record
Kenyan cooking pots and water as sources of dietary Aluminium. Elevated intake of aluminium has been implicated in a number of human neurologica and osteological dysfunctions. Attention has been focused upon the possible link between presenile dementia of the Alzheimer type and aluminium intake from the diet. The levels of aluminium in drinking water and in water sample boiled in various cooking pots were investigated. The cookware, both locally and internationally manufactured, were composed of , aluminium an steel saucepans, pressure cooker, electric kettle and traditional cooking clay pots from different parts of the country. The concentrations of aluminium found in water samples boiled in the above mentioned cooking pots are discussed with reference to the influence of a variety of factors, namely, the pH, fluoride concentration, cleaning process of the cooking pots, period of boiling, surface area of the learning material and the type of cookware used. It was found that the rate of aluminium leaching from cookware varied with changing pH, the highest concentration occurring under strongly acidic and alkaline conditions. Fluoride concentrations in water were also found to affect the leaching process, the rate of which increased significantly at fluoride concentrations above 1 mg/litre. Increased amounts of aluminium were leached on prolonged boiling. Successive boiling of water showed that the amount of aluminium leached from the cooking pot decreased with repeated boiling due to the formation of a protective oxide layer. The removal of this layer by cleaning the surface results in an increase in the amounts of aluminium leached from the cooking pot. Considerable variation in the amounts of aluminium leached from different types of cooking pots under similar conditions was observed. The pressure cooker yielded the highest amount of aluminium and the steel saucepan the least. Among the traditional clay pots used, Murang'a pots yielded the highest aluminium concentrations. The results of the present study clearly indicate that high concentrations of aluminium result from heating and boiling water in aluminium and also traditional cookware. The implications of such elevated levels of aluminium are discussed in relation to water quality standards and environmental health.