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Confused about the Mercury

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ok so I have began researching vaccines and I have come across the thimerosal/mercury issue.  I haven't really been able to find much to answer this question of mine I have had regarding the topic.  What is the difference between the mercury & its levels in fish and that in vaccines?  Most people I know are not at all concerned about mercury in fish.  Also I have been reading that thimerosal has been "phased out" beginning around '99 or so.  Is it still found in vaccines?  Sorry if these questions spark issues or seem ignorant.  Like I said, I am in the middle of researching all of this (there is SO much to check out! nut.gif) and that was something that came up as a question between my husband and I!  Thanks for your imput! :)

post #2 of 7

FIRST start with the fish - 



Most people I know are not at all concerned about mercury in fish. 



WOW! it's a big issue- it effects the BRAIN perhaps that the reason



there are many source so not just "one-sided" on this aspect










NEXT - learn what mercury is - simple household exposure (break and old thermometer) and that danger and than move on to vaccines

post #3 of 7

For mindygerecke - I wanted to share a couple of resources you might find useful. Google "mercury in vaccines" and it all seems very scary doesn't it! 


First, a blog post written by an Australian Stay at Home Mom (who trained as a scientist and science teacher) about why there isn't any dangerous mercury in vaccines: http://science-at-home.org/there-is-no-mercury-in-vaccines/ which I find explains the concerns and why they aren't based on science quite clearly. Also it's a great blog of ideas to introduce science to your children! 


And I personally find this reassuring -  the NHS (UK Health Service) Information on Vaccination with links to general discussion about vaccine safety, common concerns and the reasons doctors recommend vaccination. 

post #4 of 7


Boyd Haley, PhD, is a biochemist at University of Kentucky, and an expert on mercury toxicity on mercury in vaccines.


Thimerosal was never "taken out of " vaccines.  Vaccine manufacturers were asked (nicely) to begin producing thimerosal-free pediatric vaccines in 1999.


Thimerosal-free, individual-dose prefilled syringes began to be produced and distributed in 2001, but the less expensive (significantly less expensive) thimerosal-preserved multi-use vials continued to be sold, distributed, and used by pediatricians in the US as late as 2004, or for as long as the shelf life was still good.


Thimerosal-preserved pediatric vaccines are still manufactured in the US and distributed to third-world countries.


Thimerosal-preserved adult vaccines are still commonly used in the US, and sometimes given to older children.


Thimerosal-preserved flu shots, which DO contain mercury, are currently given to women in all stages of pregnancy, and to children 6 months and older.





"A new paper published online in the Journal of Neurochemical Research concludes that:

  • low doses of Thimerosal in vaccines are associated with neurotoxic effects;
  • no studies have been carried out on the combination of Thimerosal with aluminium adjuvants in such Thimerosal containing vaccines;
  • animal studies show mercury accumulates in the brain in the metallic [inorganic] form [ie mercury as Hg];
  • that the doses in vaccines are sufficient potentially to affect brain neuro development;
  • the doses in vaccines given to infants have been shown to be toxic in in vitro experiments on cultured human brain cells and in animals;"


post #5 of 7

Interesting. I was looking up Boyd Haley and stumbled across these links: 


Boyd Haley ordered to stop illegal marketing of OSR#1 (which he apparently tried to sell to cure "mercury detoxification" in what has been described as some as profiteering (ie. he published studies saying you need this and then tried to sell it to you)). 


And he's listed here as a non-recommended information source by Stephen Barrett who is a retired psychiatrist and according to his wikipedia bio focusses on consumer protectionmedical ethics, and scientific skepticism.


The paper you cite (Jose Dorea 2011) is a review of other published studies talking about vaccination in the third world where they state thimerosol is commonly used. I could only read the abstract, but the main conclusion seemed to be that no definitive study demonstrating any ill effect existed and the author recommended that one should be done. That's different from proving harm. 


I found another link with some information about thimerosal. Definitely not unbiased - as it's aiming to go against anti-vax rhetoric, but the author (Todd W.) claims:


"I do not have any financial ties to or interests in any pharmaceutical, biotech or medical device company. What I do have, though, is a keen interest in ensuring that the products that we use are not only safe, but that they actually do what is claimed of them and that the effects are meaningful. Finally, I’m always open to being shown where I may be in error. Feel free to correct me, just be polite and support yourself with some sound reasoning and sources."

post #6 of 7

From what I understand, the mercury present in fish is methylmercury, and the type in thimerosal is ethylmercury.  I think people should be more concerned about the methylmercury they are potentially ingesting from fish!

I found this article helpful about mercury in fish and the environment:



I don't think there is much information about ethylmercury and its toxicity. From what I saw quickly, methylmercury is worse and bioaccumulates, whereas it is thought ethylmercury does not. 

(Feel free to correct me)


I wonder what the difference is between ingesting methylmercury, (does GI tract protect you at all or is it mostly absorped?), and directly injecting ethylmercury. 


Personally, I am more concerned about the amount of aluminum in vaccines, as you can mostly avoid thimerosal.  



post #7 of 7

I agree that it is easier to avoid thimerosal-containing vaccines than aluminum-containing ones.  But you still have to be vigilant--my daughter was nearly given a vaccine from a multi-use vial that the nurse INSISTED was thimerosal-free. I had to show her where it was listed on the package insert.  She literally didn't know.


According to a 2008 University of Rochester study

(http://children.webmd.com/vaccines/news/20080130/vaccine-mercury-leaves-blood-fast), ethyl mercury has an easier time getting to the brain than methylmercury:

Burbacher says that just because ethyl mercury is gone from an infant's blood soon after it receives a dose of thimerosal -- a half-life of just 3.7 days in the Pichichero study -- doesn't mean it's gone from the body.


"Just because it came out of the blood doesn't mean it is excreted from the body. It could have gone to the brain," Burbacher tells WebMD. "Although total mercury levels in the blood are lower following thimerosal exposure [than following methyl mercury exposure], mercury in the blood from thimerosal has an easier time getting to the brain than methyl mercury."



Here is more interesting reading on mercury in vaccines:









Edited by Taximom5 - 2/6/12 at 12:22pm
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