Saturday, October 07, 2017 by Rhonda Johansson
Aluminum silicate is a mineral compound that comes in powder form and has many medical and industrial uses. It should not be confused with kaolin or kaolinite, which is the substance that is formed when water and magnesium are added to aluminum silicate. When taken in this form, the compound (now in the form of clay) is actually beneficial, being used to treat a variety of conditions including diarrhea and diaper rash. This introduction will focus on the silicate powder.
For the most part, aluminum silicate is used to insulate materials, especially those requiring to withstand high temperatures. The powder is also used in the glass-making, metal smelting, and iron forging industries.
There is extremely (that is to say, virtually non-existent) research regarding this compound as a harmful substance. Medical doctors have already noted that therapeutic uses of this compound only manifest when it is in its kaolin form. As with most silicates, the powder form of the compound is rarely (if at all) used in medicine. The toxicity of this substance is remarkable. It is highly recommended to visit the nearest poison control center if you or a loved one ingests aluminum silicate.
A comprehensive review of the various types of silicates published in 2003 noted that aluminum silicate was a skin irritant in rabbits, although it did not seem to have any negative effects among guinea pigs. Even so, scientists say that humans should avoid the substance as much as possible. For those working in industries that do use aluminum silicate, it is best to wear protective clothing and to regularly wash their hands to prevent damage.
Aluminum silicate can cause an allergic reaction, both internally and externally. In its powder form, the compound irritates the skin.
While there are no studies on internal consumption, it can be safely assumed that eating this powder can cause gastrointestinal distress. Remember that aluminum silicate is used to protect materials from being burned. It is not something that you want inside your body. It is highly likely that you will end up vomiting or needing to go to the bathroom if you ingest it. Do not, under any circumstance, think it okay to eat the powder.
Aluminum silicate is the base of kaolin, a nutritional substance in the form of clay. Unhydrated aluminum silicate is toxic.
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