Thursday, April 24

Vaccines: Mercury & Preservatives

Background to this post
Other posts labeled Vaccines


It's pretty widely known that mercury is poisonous to humans. I learned that the volume allowed by the EPA to be considered nontoxic is .1 mcg per day. I also learned that the amount of mercury in vaccines that contain the preservative thimerosal is 25 mcg, many times over the "safe" amount.
While the presence of mercury is not as prevalent today as it was in the 1990s (thanks to countless parents and advocates who raised enough of an outcry to have it examined and largely removed), there are still a couple vaccines that contain mercury, seen here. Where it shows .01% Thimerosal concentration, that equates to 25mcg of mercury. Largely, most children's vaccines do not contain thimerosal today.

The EPA has been outspoken regarding mercury in women who are of a child-bearing age and who are pregnant, advising against consumption of fish with higher levels of mercury and also warning about spills and proper cleanup for both men and women.
On the basic information page of EPA website, they introduce mercury and where you might find it, and it does not even mention its content in vaccines. It is mentioned further down on the site along with other products containing mercury. Even more disturbing, on the Human Exposure page for how humans can come in contact with mercury, it does not mention vaccines. However, they bend over backwards to illustrate how fish become contaminated with mercury. On the FDA's website, I read the following:
It's only in a few species of fish that methyl mercury levels reach FDA limit for human consumption of 1 ppm. [This is .1 mcg...compare to 25mcg in some vaccines] This most frequently occurs in some large predator fish, such as shark and swordfish. Certain species of very large tuna, typically sold as fresh steaks or sushi, can have levels over 1 ppm. (Canned tuna, composed of smaller species of tuna such as skipjack and albacore, has much lower levels of methyl mercury, averaging only about 0.17 ppm.) The average concentration of methyl mercury for commercially important species (mostly marine in origin) is less than 0.3 ppm.
The government is concerned about people being exposed to mercury fish and other substances, but it recommends that even higher amounts of mercury be injected through vaccines! Many people can properly excrete the mercury before it does a lot of damage. However, one cannot see what internal mechanisms have been affected and what neurological effect could be taking place from mercury. It may not be evident until years later. The damage from diabetes, smoking, and drinking cannot be seen for some time either, but the damage is still occurring. Thankfully, there are significantly fewer children today being exposed to mercury than there were in the 1990s. I don't know at this point which preservative replaced thimerosal in each vaccine, and some do not require a preservative at all. The package contents of the vaccine disclose what substances are contained in the shots and which brands have what such as: formaldehyde, anti-freeze, aluminum, aborted fetal tissue (human diploid cell cultures and human diploid lung fibroblasts), and fetal bovine serum.

Some simple questions to consider: 1) are you aware which brand of vaccines your doctor gives your child, and 2) does it contain toxic preservatives, and 3) can you ask for a different brand? And for your own health as an adult, did you know the adult flu shot contains thimerosal, as well as the tetanus shot? According to the table, there are 7 kinds of flu shots, and 4 of them contain thimerosal (the pediatric version (up to 35 months) does not). One company makes the single tetanus shot, and even the booster contains 25mcg of mercury. The DT(the T being tetanus)for pediatric use does contain thimerosal but the combo DTaP does not contain thimerosal even though the individual tetanus does. That's a challenge for us because we do not wish for our children to receive combination vaccines, but getting the tetanus later in life when there is greater risk doesn't look so hot either because of mercury.

What's interesting is that when most shots
did contain thimerosal, the content was the same whether it was an adult or a baby receiving the shot. It's just one problem that we have with the "one size fits all" approach to vaccinations.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Alicia,
Great info! I had not seen those Hopkins pages before, but those are really easy to read, and from the public health field itself, so very "believable" for the skeptic. Great job explaining the different measurements, also - makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the "intro" too :)
Sara