Aluminum toxicity

Aluminum Metal

  • Dusts cause respiratory tract and eye irritation
  • Acute exposures can cause bronchoconstriction and asthma-like response
  • Chronic exposure can lead to pulmonary fibrosis
  • Increased incidence of cancer

Aluminum phosphide

  • Used as a fumigant
  • Contact with moisture produces phosphine gas
  • Respiratory tract irritant

Aluminum oxide

  • Physical irritant, nuisance particulate

Systemic aluminum toxicity

  • Usually in renal patients on long-term dialysis with aluminum-containing dialysate
  • Rarely acute
  • Muscle weakness (especially proximal)
  • Premature osteoporosis, bone pain, multiple fractures
  • Seziures
  • Acute or subacute altered mental status

Differential Diagnosis

Heavy metal toxicity


  • Aluminum level > 50 µg/L (mcg/dL) suggests aluminum overload and possible toxicity
    • Symptomatic patients with levels 20-50 may also need treatment


  • Stop exposure
  • Chelation with deferoxamine for severe or symptomatic systemic toxicity


See Also

External Links