Aluminum exposure and toxicity in neonates: a practical guide to halt aluminum overload in the prenatal and perinatal periods

World J Pediatr. 2014 May;10(2):101-7. doi: 10.1007/s12519-014-0477-x. Epub 2014 May 7.


Background: During the last years, human newborns have been overexposed to biologically reactive aluminum, with possible relevant consequences on their future health and on their susceptibility to a variety of diseases. Children, newborns and particularly preterm neonates are at an increased risk of aluminum toxicity because of their relative immaturity.

Data sources: Based on recent original publications and classical data of the literatures, we reviewed the aluminum content in mother's food during the intrauterine life as well as in breast milk and infant formula during lactation. We also determined the possible role of aluminum in parenteral nutrition solutions, in adjuvants of vaccines and in pharmaceutical products. A special focus is placed on the relationship between aluminum overexposure and the insurgence of bone diseases.

Results: Practical points of management and prevention are suggested. Aluminum sources that infants may receive during the first 6 months of life are presented. In the context of prevention of possible adverse effects of aluminum overload in fetal tissues during development, simple suggestions to pregnant women are described. Finally, practical points of management and prevention are suggested.

Conclusions: Pediatricians and neonatologists must be more concerned about aluminum content in all products our newborns are exposed to, starting from monitoring aluminum concentrations in milk- and soy-based formulas in which, on the basis of recent studies, there is still too much aluminum.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Pharmaceutic / chemistry
  • Aluminum / analysis*
  • Aluminum / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Food, Formulated / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infant Formula / chemistry
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Parenteral Nutrition / adverse effects
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry
  • Pregnancy


  • Adjuvants, Pharmaceutic
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Aluminum