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Aluminum and Vaccine Ingredients: What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know?

Written by Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD, FAAP   
Sunday, 01 March 2009 00:00
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Aluminum and Vaccine Ingredients: What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know?
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himerosal, which contains the organic compound ethyl mercury, is a known neurotoxin and used to be a major ingredient in childhood vaccines. There are more than 15,000 articles in the medical literature describing the adverse health effects on the human body with exposure to varying amounts and forms of mercury.

In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged government agencies to work rapidly toward reducing children’s exposure to mercury from all sources. Because any potential risk was of concern, the AAP and the USPHS (United States Public Health Service) agreed that the use of thimerosal-containing vaccines should be reduced or eliminated. The AAP recommended that it would be a good idea to remove thimerosal from vaccines, even though, according to them, there was no evidence linking childhood health issues to thimerosal exposure from vaccines. In 2008, children are still being injected with thimerosal-containing vaccines, and old stocks of thimerosal-containing vaccines manufactured by 1999 continued to be administered to children up to 2003.

However, a growing number of physicians, scientists, and parents maintain that thimerosal has played, and continues to play, a large role in contributing to the emergence of multiple chronic illnesses in children and adults, including the neurological spectrum disorders. Aluminum, which is present in the environment and has increased in many childhood vaccines since the “phase out” of thimerosal, may be affecting the health of our children in ways that we have yet to understand.

Aluminum is a heavy metal with known neurotoxic effects on human and animal nervous systems. It can be found in the following childhood vaccines: DTaP, Pediarix™ (DTaP-Hepatitis B-Polio combination), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB), Pentacel® (DTaP-HIB-Polio combination), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and Pneumococcal vaccines. In 1996, the AAP issued a position paper on Aluminum Toxicity in Infants and Children which stated in the first paragraph, “Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues.”

A review of the medical literature on aluminum reveals a surprising lack of scientific evidence that injected aluminum is safe. There is limited understanding of what happens to children when aluminum is injected into their bodies, including whether or not it accumulates in tissues and organs or is properly eliminated from the body. It is also unknown if genetic factors affect long-term adverse health outcomes for individuals injected with aluminum-containing vaccines.

One in 6 children younger than 18 years in this country has developmental/learning disabilities, although the numbers may be higher since this 1994 report was published. Ten percent of all children have asthma. Growing numbers of children are living with different types of allergies. That means they have impairment, or even irreversible damage, to their nervous and immune systems. Isn’t it possible that injected aluminum plays a role in affecting the health of our children’s nervous and immune systems, as the evidence we do have seems to suggest?

What is even more disconcerting is the lack of accepted scientific data explaining whether injected aluminum interacts with other vaccine ingredients to cause harm to our children. Boyd Haley, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, completed lab experiments that showed the damaging effects on nerve cells when he exposed them to aluminum, especially in the presence of other vaccine ingredients, including mercury, formaldehyde, and the antibiotic neomycin. His data, however, have been ignored by the scientific, medical, and governmental institutions that make vaccine policies. The scientific community needs to perform more experiments in the lab before shooting kids with these ingredients and declaring unequivocal vaccine safety for all children.

Aluminum is added to vaccines as an adjuvant so vaccines will produce a stronger antibody response and provide more protection. It is this role as an adjuvant that may reveal to us the most significant relationship between aluminum in vaccines and the damage it imparts on the long-term health of our children’s nervous and immune systems.