Army bans scuffed aluminium dishes

Army bans scuffed aluminium dishes
The aluminium dishes. Photo: APA/BUNDESHEER/KREIBICH
The Austrian army has withdrawn 100,000 items of aluminium dishware which troops used in the field as they were found to be “significantly scuffed” and concerns were raised about the possible implications for soldiers’ health.

At high levels, aluminium is an established neurotoxin and some studies have suggested the accumulation of aluminium in the body is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.

The army has apologized to soldiers and is currently providing them with temporary, disposable dishes.

In a statement the army said "a not insignificant level of aluminium abrasion" was noticed by a soldier in December 2014.

Tests were carried out on the dishes and the final results are expected by the end of March.

However, an initial result did not rule out that the safe tolerable level of aluminium exposure was being exceeded, and so the army immediately banned the suspect kit. Cutlery and cups made of chrome-nickel were not affected and are still in use.

The three-piece dinner set is used to serve hot snacks to soldiers, and has been part of their portable mess kit since 1967.

The Austrian army last ordered 10,000 units of the kit in 2011, from the same company that the German army uses.

Portable mess kits are traditionally made from aluminium as it is durable and lightweight. 


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