Aluminium in Clay?



Scientific testing by  CSIRO using Borate Fusion XRF Method mineral analysis  verifies our clay does not contain any aluminium.

However there is some discussion with regard to Alumina and Aluminium in clay. This probably stems from the interchange of the description of Alumina oxide with Aluminium oxide.

Hopefully the following article will clarify a few things.

 BENTONITE CLAY is classified as an Alumino-silicate. This means its major elements are Alumina oxide (Al2O3) and Silica (SiO2).  Hence all Bentonite clay contains these as major elements. Bentonite would be an entirely different substance without alumina oxide.

It is also made up of a number of other minerals some of which have exchangeable ions.

Typically they are - sodium ions, calcium ions, potassium ions, magnesium ions. 

In the USA Aluminium is used to refer to alumina. Unfortunately this is misleading because alumina oxide (Al2O3) is not the dangerous Aluminium (Al) which is used in manufacturing.

The term aluminium oxide is actually referring to alumina oxide which is perfectly safe.

Different symbols represent different substances:

Alumina oxide:  Al2O3  (safe)

Aluminium : Al  (unsafe)

The alumina oxide that goes to make up part of the clay molecule is completely inert*. It has a very high bond with silica and is NOT BIO AVAILABLE. It CANNOT be absorbed into the body.

*In chemistry the term inert is used to describe something that is not chemically active.

The following paragraph is from an article on Pelotherapy in the Options Magazine October 2007

Clay is composed of various mineral compounds rich in silica and aluminium (meaning Alumina oxide - Al2O3)*; sometimes including iron, copper, zinc and magnesium and other trace minerals. The aluminium (meaning Alumina oxide - Al 2O3)*, found in clay is quite different from the toxic inorganic substance used in commercial deodorants and so isn't associated with the same risks. The two key compounds form flat layers of minute particles as rocks such as shale and mud stone are weathered by the elements.

The clay layers create a large surface area which is highly reactive and due to the bond between silica and aluminium (meaning Alumina oxide - Al2O3)*, the clay particles contain negatively charged ions.

written by Ananda Mahony ND, a naturopath and holistic skin care specialist. Ananda lectures nutrition and Food As Medicine at the Australian College of Natural Medicine.

*comment by M Mason

Article complied by M Mason 2010