By Simon Hradecky and Steve Hanley | 19 January 2017 19:16:11A new study has found that, although a few products can be used to foil a dishwasher, they do not provide much protection from the elements.
The findings, from a study in Australia, suggest that aluminium foil has a “significant” environmental impact, with a high percentage of the aluminium foil being deposited into the water column.
“It is likely that the increased concentration of aluminium will result in a higher water level in the water bowl,” the researchers wrote.
“This could lead to increased corrosion and the formation of small cracks in the aluminium alloy.”
Aluminium foil is typically used to protect kitchen utensils from contamination, but the study said it did not provide a significant environmental impact.
“As with other types of aluminium foil, it has been shown to have a relatively low water penetration in the environment,” the authors said.
“Aluminium foils have a high penetration of the water, with only 0.2 per cent of the foil being found in the surface of the glass bowl.”
The researchers also found that aluminium foils had a high carbon footprint compared to other types, with an average of 11.5 kilograms of aluminium per kilogram of aluminium.
The aluminium foil found in water bowls is mainly aluminium oxide.
“The use of aluminium foiling has been found to be a significant source of aluminium pollution, but it is not known if this aluminium is produced by aluminium-furnace manufacturers,” the study concluded.
“A study in the US in 2013 found that almost half of all aluminium foil used in US household appliances was aluminium oxide.”
In Australia, the research team surveyed over 1,000 people from various parts of the country, with the results published on Monday in the Australian Environmental Science Journal.
“Foil-filtration systems have become an increasingly popular method for protecting kitchen and dishware, but a lack of knowledge of how they work, and the high levels of contamination associated with the manufacturing process, make the technology challenging to commercialise,” they wrote.
Foil companies, the study authors said, are already working to improve the efficiency of their products and create a better product.
“We propose that the aluminium foil used in the present study should be used as a filter material to reduce the amount of aluminium in the finished product,” they said.
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