Adapted from an research article by Anne Marie Helmenstine Phd.
ALUM IS NOT AS SAFE AS YOU THINK!!!!
Alum may be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Although it is deemed safe enough for this purpose by the Food and Drug Administration, there may be negative health consequences from continued exposure to the aluminum ions in the alum. Because some of the product is absorbed into the skin, one way to cut your exposure to the product is to use a styptic pencil on cuts and weapers, and leave alum blocks by the wayside.
Alum Health Concerns
All forms of alum can cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes. Breathing alum can cause lung damage. Alum also may attack lung tissue. Because it’s a salt, eating massive amounts of alum can make you sick. Usually ingesting alum will make you vomit, but if you could keep it down, the alum could upset the ionic equilibrium in your bloodstream, just like overdosing on any other electrolyte. However, the primary concern with alum is long-term exposure to low levels of the chemical. Alum, from your diet or healthcare product, can cause degeneration of nervous system tissue. It is possible that exposure to alum could lead to an increased risk of certain cancers, brain plaques, or Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alum from natural sources may contain impurities, including toxic metals such as chromium. Because the chemical composition of natural alum is variable, it’s best to avoid its use when there is a chance of ingesting the mineral or getting it into the bloodstream.
A styptic pencil is made out of alum, but by using one ONLY on your cuts and weepers, will significantly cut down your exposure to alum itself.