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Mercury In Vaccines
 

  1. Thimerosal Material Safety Data Sheet.

  2. Explore Thimerosal and conditions associated with exposure to it in the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database

  3. SafeMinds (Watch the video  added 10/20/2010)
    Between 80% and 90% of the flu shots in any given year still contain thimerosal. Most consumers remain unaware that these vaccines still contain mercury.
  4. Environmental Working Group (Thimerosal - Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Reviews added 10/10/2010)
    Mercury is considered particularly toxic to the developing brain during pregnancy, infancy and childhood. FDA has banned the use of mercury compounds in all cosmetics except those used around the eyes, where levels are limited to 65 parts per million (ppm). In 2007 the use of mercury in all cosmetics was banned in Minnesota.
  5. Toxicology Letters (full article  added 9/14/2010):
    This study provides evidence that Hg exposure can affect human immune function within the range of exposures
    found within populations worldwide, and that a major effect of Hg exposure is the dysregulation of signal transduction pathways, leading to excessive inflammatory cytokine release in the case of
    iHg and MeHg exposure and suppression of immune responses in the case of EtHg. (thimerosal)

  6. Neurochemical Research (full article  added 9/14/2010): 
    The persistent alterations of brain opioid systems ensuing from early life exposure to Thimerosal is just one element of a plethora of neurodevelopmental pathologies induced by this mercurial in animals and humans [6-9,11]. Its harmful effects are likely to be augmented by other vaccine adjuvants, such as aluminum, formaldehyde or antibiotics, and by various environmental toxins [31,43,44].

    Particularly aluminum compounds, added to vaccines to augment their immunogenicity, have been shown to synergistically potentiate Thimerosal's neurotoxicity [43]. Thus in the presence of other toxins or substances, which per se may be rather innocuous, even small doses of THIM in vaccines can lead to neurological injury in vulnerable children.

    In conclusion, this study documents that parenteral administration of Thimerosal to suckling rats at doses equivalent to those used in pediatric vaccines or higher produces lasting alterations of MORs in several brain regions and damage to neurons.

    If analogous changes occur in the brains of some children, they are likely to have profound neurological,physiological and behavioral consequences, which may be relevant for certain neurodevelopmental disorders. These data argue for removal of Thimerosal from all infant vaccines.
  7. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (CDC): The effects of exposure to any hazardous substance depend on the dose, the duration, how you are exposed...

  8. American Academy of Pediatrics: There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the small amounts of Thimerosal in vaccines... In 1999, the Public Health Service agencies and the AAP recommended that Thimerosal be taken out of vaccines as a precautionary measure.

  9. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of Thimerosal in vaccines... However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that Thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure

  10. Environmental Protection AgencyMany states have enacted legislation and written regulations with the goal of reducing mercury emissions to air, land and water. These actions cover a range of topics, including banning the sale of certain mercury-containing products...

  11. Food and Drug Administration: because of an increasing awareness of the theoretical potential for neurotoxicity... the Food and Drug Administration has worked with, and continues to work with, vaccine manufacturers to reduce or eliminate Thimerosal from vaccines.

  12. Health Care Without Harm: Position on Thimerosal In Vaccines; Mercury is a potent neurotoxin.

  13. National Network for Immunization Information: no scientific evidence that Thimerosal preservative in vaccines causes harm

  14. SafeMinds: risks to infants and children of exposure to mercury from medical products, including Thimerosal in vaccines.

  15. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Vaccines Containing Thimerosal are Hazardous Waste when Discarded


Thimerosal Material Safety Data Sheet

This document describes Thimerosal including its usage, physical data, stability, toxicology, toxicity and personal protection.  According to the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, a Material Safety Data Sheet is a required part of Workplace Chemical Safety Programs: "All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and MSDSs for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately." 

Environmental Protection Agency

Mercury Laws and Regulations
State Legislation and Regulations
How does EPA regulate mercury in waste?


Many states have enacted legislation and written regulations with the goal of reducing mercury emissions to air, land and water. These actions cover a range of topics, including banning the sale of certain mercury-containing products, enacting product-labeling legislation, establishing disposal bans and establishing education and collection programs for mercury and mercury-containing products.

State regulations for mercury use and release can be more stringent than federal regulations. We recommend that you contact the appropriate state environmental office for more information regarding how mercury might be regulated in your state. The state environmental agencies provide links to various state and regional environmental offices with information regarding mercury regulation in their jurisdictions.


 

Health Care Without Harm

http://www.noharm.org/us_canada/

Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of more than 470 organizations in 52 countries working to transform the health care sector so it is no longer a source of harm to people and the environment. 


http://www.noharm.org/us_canada/issues/toxins/mercury/

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can harm the brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver. It is used throughout health care in a variety of products including thermometers, sphygmomanometers, dental amalgam, laboratory chemicals and preservatives such as Thimerosal, cleaning agents, and various electronic devices such as fluorescent lamps and computer equipment.

The cumulative usage, spills, breakages and disposal of these products makes the health care sector a significant contributor of mercury pollution in the environment.

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to phase out the use of mercury because of the many safe, cost-effective non-mercury alternatives that exist for nearly all uses of mercury in health care.

As part of a global initiative to reduce the use and spread of mercury in all aspects of society, Health Care Without Harm is leading the effort to eliminate mercury from the health care sector.

 

Health Care Without Harm Position on Thimerosal in Vaccines
http://www.noharm.org/global/issues/toxins/mercury/vaccines.php

Vaccination programs provide important public health benefits. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) recognizes that the continuity and ongoing development of essential vaccination programs are key to achieving global public health. We also recognize the importance of responding to concerns about Thimerosal in vaccines.

Thimerosal contains a kind of organic mercury called ethylmercury, used in vaccines as a preservative. Methylmercury, another kind of organic mercury, is a potent developmental neurotoxicant. Although not as thoroughly studied, ethylmercury is similar enough to methylmercury and has properties sufficient to raise legitimate concerns about its impact on the developing brains of children who are exposed to Thimerosal in vaccines.

HCWH supports a precautionary approach regarding the use of Thimerosal in vaccines, based on available scientific information.

  • Despite the lack of conclusive scientific evidence of harm from Thimerosal, enough plausible concern has been raised to justify reformulating vaccine preparations so that they do not require Thimerosal.

  • This conclusion is justified because organic mercury is a neurodevelopmental toxicant and there are viable alternatives to vaccine formulation without sacrificing safety or efficacy.

  • Regulators, public health officials and pharmaceutical companies have recognized this and moved to phase-out Thimerosal use in the US and in several European countries.

  • Such phase-outs, by switching to single-dose vaccines that do not require Thimerosal as a preservative, are positive steps, but do not address the broader problem of multi-dose vaccine preparations in developing countries, where Thimerosal use continues.

  • In this regard, viable options for the delivery of multi-dose vaccines in developing countries should be developed as a matter of priority. This effort should be led by the World Health Organization, with participation from other intergovernmental agencies, national governments, pharmaceutical companies, international NGOs and foundations.

 


 

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

 

MANAGING EXCESS VACCINES

dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/wm/publications/anewpub/WA841.pdf

PUB-WA 841-07

 

Vaccines that may be hazardous waste when discarded

Some vaccines are preserved with 1:10,000 or 0.01 percent Thimerosal (see the vaccines in the table titled "Thimerosal Content in Some U.S. Licensed Vaccines" at www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.htm that have .01% in the Thimerosal Concentration column). Thimerosal contains about 50 percent mercury by weight. Vaccines with 1:10,000 or 0.01 percent Thimerosal have about 50 mg/L mercury, which exceeds the 0.2 mg/L hazardous waste toxicity characteristic regulatory level for mercury. According to state and federal hazardous waste management requirements, discarded Thimerosal-preserved vaccines may need to be managed as hazardous waste, using the waste code D009 (mercury).

 

NOTE: One mercury-containing fever thermometer contains the same amount of mercury (1/2 gram) as 20,000 adult doses of Thimerosal-preserved vaccine. While bulk mercury (e.g., in a mercury fever thermometer) is a bigger threat to human health and the environment compared to a Thimerosal-preserved vaccine, it is still important to manage these discarded vaccines properly. 

 

It is illegal to manage Thimerosal-preserved vaccines as infectious waste or regular trash.




SafeMinds

The Coalition for SafeMinds (Sensible Action For Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders) is a private nonprofit organization founded to investigate and raise awareness of the risks to infants and children of exposure to mercury from medical products, including Thimerosal in vaccines. SafeMinds supports research on the potential harmful effects of mercury and Thimerosal.  Download the SafeMinds flu brochure for the 2009-2010 season:  Flu Vaccines, Pregnancy and Children: What You Need to Know.


Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (CDC)
This fact sheet answers the most frequently asked health questions about mercury. For more information, you may call the ATSDR Information Center at 1-888-422-8737. This fact sheet is one in a series of summaries about hazardous substances and their health effects. This information is important because this substance may harm you. The effects of exposure to any hazardous substance depend on the dose, the duration, how you are exposed, personal traits and habits, and whether other chemicals are present.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930's. There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of Thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that Thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.

Food and Drug Administration 
Thimerosal is a mercury-containing organic compound (an organomercurial). Since the 1930s, it has been widely used as a preservative in a number of biological and drug products, including many vaccines, to help prevent potentially life threatening contamination with harmful microbes. Over the past several years, because of an increasing awareness of the theoretical potential for neurotoxicity of even low levels of organomercurials and because of the increased number of Thimerosal containing vaccines that had been added to the infant immunization schedule, concerns about the use of Thimerosal in vaccines and other products have been raised. Indeed, because of these concerns, the Food and Drug Administration has worked with, and continues to work with, vaccine manufacturers to reduce or eliminate Thimerosal from vaccines.

American Academy of Pediatrics 
Some parents have expressed concerns about a potential link between health problems, particularly autism, and vaccines containing Thimerosal. Thimerosal is a preservative that contains a form of mercury (organomercurial). Beginning in the 1930s, Thimerosal was used in very small amounts as a preservative in vaccines. Thimerosal is effective in preventing bacterial and fungal contamination, particularly in opened multi-dose vaccine containers. In 1999, the Public Health Service agencies and the AAP recommended that Thimerosal be taken out of vaccines as a precautionary measure. By the end of 2001, all routine pediatric vaccines contained no Thimerosal or only trace amounts (some influenza and Td vaccines). There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the small amounts of Thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor effects like swelling and redness at the injection site due to sensitivity to Thimerosal.  Prior to the recent initiative to reduce or eliminate Thimerosal from childhood vaccines, the maximum cumulative exposure to mercury via routine childhood vaccinations during the first six months of life was 187.5 micrograms. With the newly formulated vaccines, the maximum cumulative exposure during the first six months of life will now be less than 3 micrograms of mercury; this represents a greater than 98 percent reduction in the amount of mercury a child would receive from vaccines in the first six months of life. [Influenza (flu) vaccine is not given until six months or older.]


National Network for Immunization Information
NNii Offers Scientific View on Thimerosal and Vaccines - With no scientific evidence that Thimerosal preservative in vaccines causes harm (except rare allergic reactions), many other countries continue to utilize Thimerosal preservative-containing vaccines to be able to safely administer vaccines using multiple dose vials.