Mercury Free Baby responds to TIME Magazine’s inaccurate statements about Thimerosal in vaccines and Donald Trump’s Choice of RFK Jr. as Vaccine Czar
We at Mercury Free Baby read your recent article from January 10, 2017, titled, “Why Donald Trump’s Choice of RFK Jr. as Vaccine Czar Is a Terrible Idea” with great interest. In the article, TIME made some statements that we wish to address.
TIME’s Article Statement 1:
“First: for all practical purposes, the thimerosal just isn’t there. It has long since been removed from all vaccines except some formulations of the flu vaccine where it’s used in vanishingly small trace doses.”
Our Response to Statement 1:
First, Thimerosal, is still found at preservative levels (nominally 100 parts-per-million [ppm]) in many influenza-vaccine doses licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as in at least one FDA-licensed meningococcal vaccine and in an FDA-licensed tetanus-toxoid vaccine. In fact, Tables 1 and 3 at this FDA link specifically identify which vaccines and flu shots still contain Thimerosal: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228#t1. When viewing the information from the FDA, it is essential to understand that certain brands of the same vaccine are made without mercury while other brands are made with Thimerosal. It is also essential to note that, as the FDA explains, Thimerosal is approximately 50% mercury (Hg) by weight, and 0.01% solution (1 part per 10,000) of thimerosal contains 50 µg of Hg per 1 ml dose or 25 µg of Hg per 0.5 ml dose.
Further, each year millions of Americans (more than [>] 150 million) get an influenza vaccine; and over half of those vaccine doses (> 75 million) contain a preservative level of Thimerosal that nominally deliver 50 micrograms [µg] of Thimerosal to all but the youngest children (who get two, 30-day-spaced, 25-µg doses). Influenza vaccines are recommended for pregnant women, infants (twice in the first year), and children, adults and the elderly (yearly).
Since, without any safety factor, the developing-human toxicity threshold for an injected Thimerosal aqueous solution has been reported to be less than (<) 0.0086 µg of Thimerosal /kg of body weight /day, levels of 25- or 50- µg of Thimerosal per vaccine dose are:
a) neither “vanishingly small” nor
b) based on the toxicity of injected Thimerosal solutions, “trace doses”.
Tellingly, a recent study conducted by Kaiser Permanente found an increased risk of autism among children whose mothers received an influenza vaccination in their first trimester of pregnancy.
Also, “preservative” levels of Thimerosal (usually 25- to 50- µg per dose or higher) are still present in most multi-dose formulations of the childhood vaccines recommended for routine administration in the developing world.
TIME’s Article Statement 2:
“What’s more, thimerosal is an ethylmercury product; the type of mercury that is harmful—and only in higher concentrations—is methylmercury.”
Our Response to Statement 2:
A published paper, “Identification and distribution of mercury species in rat tissues following administration of thimerosal or methylmercury” found that some Ethylmercury species created by the degradation of Thimerosal are converted to Methylmercury species once it enters the cells in the brain. So, exposure to Ethylmercury results in exposure to Methylmercury.
Factually, Thimerosal is a tradename for Sodium Ethylmercurithiosalicylate, a highly toxic, water-soluble Ethylmercury (organic mercury) compound that is: a) 49.5% Mercury by weight and b) significantly more neurotoxic to humans than Methylmercury Chloride or Hydroxide, used as the reference compound in most comparative toxicity studies. In vaccines, Thimerosal slowly reacts with water and aqueous chloride to form Ethylmercury -Hydroxide and -Chloride species that bind to exposed organic thiol (-SH) groups on the other components of the vaccine and Sodium Thiosalicylate, which slowly converts into the corresponding disulfide. If an infant or child has limited thiol availability, as is found in children with autism, the toxic effects are greater.
TIME’s Article Statement 3:
“Finally, while it’s true that autism cases have gone up in the the [sic] U.S. in recent years, that has happened at the precise time thimerosal levels in vaccines have fallen.”
Our Response to Statement 3:
The most dramatic increase in “autism cases” began in 1990s, after the children had been exposed to Thimerosal at its highest levels, where, starting in the mid-1980s, the increased exposures in America were tied to the addition of the Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) and hepatitis B vaccines to the CDC-recommended early childhood vaccination schedule.
The studies that examine autism rates after the removal of Thimerosal from childhood vaccines are inconsistent, some showing an increase and others showing a decrease in the rates of autism. The studies that show an increase in the rates of autism after the removal of Thimerosal are particularly interesting. For instance, the main study sponsored by the CDC, which shows autism rates increasing after the removal of Thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark, was conducted by Dr. Poul Thorsen who is currently a fugitive. He is wanted in two countries (the US and Denmark) for research fraud, theft, and tax evasion. Then a subsequent study, which was completed by other researchers using the same data source, revealed that the prevalence of autism significantly decreased following the removal of Thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark.
Another important factor to consider is that in the US, levels of Thimerosal were decreased in vaccines just as the flu shot was promoted. More precisely, according to a document from the CDC, FDA, and other agencies, a phase-out of the manufacturing of vaccines containing higher levels of Thimerosal began in 2001, and they were removed from shelf use in 2003. Meanwhile, flu shots were recommended for U.S. children aged 23 months to 6 years old in 2004, and flu shots for U.S. children aged six months to 18 years old were recommended in 2008. In other words, the addition of the flu shot to the vaccine regimen means that levels of mercury exposure have continued.
TIME’s Article Statement 4:
“Epidemiologists attribute the increased autism incidence almost entirely to better diagnoses and an expanded definition of conditions that fall onto the autism spectrum.”
Response to Statement 4:
Actually, research finds that better diagnoses and an expanded definition of conditions do not fully explain the increase in autism., Studies conducted at the University of California at Davis and Yale University looking at autism rates in California indicate that about half the increase can be attributed to these factors and about half remains unexplained.
Our Current Realities:
Research from the scientific community has found that Thimerosal is a neurotoxin and there are over 200 studies that have found it to be harmful. To date, about 3/4ths of the cited studies support a link between Thimerosal and/or other mercury species and the risk of a diagnosis of ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Even CDC studies have shown that exposure to Thimerosal is associated with tic disorder, language delay, and memory and motor skill deficits.
Thimerosal is not a necessary ingredient in vaccines and, for live-viral vaccines, its inactivation of live viruses rules out its use as a preservative.
We at Mercury Free Baby are dedicated to promoting a world in which no child, born or unborn, ever receives avoidable mercury exposure from any product supposed to improve that child’s health.
Those arguing against the unnecessary use of a known neurotoxin in the vaccine/drug supply are seeking to safeguard public confidence in the vaccine program, not destroy it. Anti-mercury advocates want vaccines to be produced with non-toxic preservatives or, better yet, with no preservatives using clean manufacturing processes, a realistic and viable option in developed nations since the 1980s.
We hope TIME will help us in making the world a safer place for children by ensuring that they are protected from unnecessary and unsafe mercury exposures through the publishing of fairer and more-balanced articles in the future.
Finally, if TIME’s Editor at Large, Jeffrey Kluger, or other TIME reporters would like to interview Mercury Free Baby’s founder, Reverend Lisa Sykes, please let us know.
Mercury Free Baby
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