Aluminium salts do not themselves stimulate peroxidation of ox-brain phospholipid liposomes, but they greatly accelerate the peroxidation induced by iron(II) salts at acidic pH values. This effect of Al(III) is not seen at pH 7.4, perhaps because Al(III) salts form insoluble complexes at this pH in aqueous solution. Peroxidation of liposomes in the presence of Al(III) and Fe(II) salts is inhibited by the chelating agent desferrioxamine, and by EDTA and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid at concentrations greater than those of Fe(II) salt. Aluminium salts slightly stimulate the peroxidation of peroxide-depleted linolenic acid micelles, but they do not accelerate the peroxidation induced by addition of iron(II) salts to the micelles at acidic pH. Aluminium salts accelerate the peroxidation observed when human erythrocytes are treated with hydrogen peroxide at pH 7.4. Desferrioxamine decreases the peroxidation. We suggest that Al(III) ions produce an alteration in membrane structure that facilitates lipid peroxidation, and that the increased formation of fluorescent age pigments in the nervous system of patients exposed to toxic amounts of Al(III) may be related to this phenomenon. The ability of desferal to bind both iron (III) and aluminium(III) salts and to inhibit lipid peroxidation makes it an especially useful chelating agent in the treatment of 'aluminium overload'.