Aluminum is a remarkable material, its range of properties make it unique and essential to the modern world. However, like anything, it comes with its drawbacks. Aluminum is not the perfect material.
PET scans, could aluminum account for the differences?
In 1965 aluminum first became linked with Alzheimer's Disease after injecting rabbits with compounds of the metal caused tangle-like formations of nerves. It was thought that this could lead to the symptoms of dementia shown in sufferers of Alzheimer's. Although "no causal relationship has yet been proved"1
there are still many concerns about the effect of the metal on human health. This is one of the few weaknesses of aluminum, although it is deadly serious and if a definite link were found then an aluminum substitute would have to be found, or all its non-essential uses would have to be stopped.
Aluminum is also thought to cause problems for kidney patients when it enters their body during dialysis, and inhaling aluminum dust is currently linked with some lung problems.
Other than these possible health problems the weaknesses of aluminum are limited. In its pure form it is not very strong, but its alloys can provide any needed strength. Aluminum is also relatively expensive due to its long and high energy extraction process.
Summary: Aluminum has few weaknesses, and most of them are concerns about health issues. Research into possible links doesn't prove the case either way, but the concerns themselves are a weakness. Aluminum is also relatively weak physically (when pure) and quite difficult to extract.
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