Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

topic posted Tue, March 11, 2008 - 12:43 PM by  Unsubscribed
This article is from the last issue of Mothering Magazine. Written by Dr. Bob Sears (Dr. Sears son). He is a mainstream pro vaccination pediatrician. He has done a lot of research on Vaccine safety. He also authored The Vaccine Book. This article brings to light the possibility that the amount of Aluminum in infant and child vaccines could be potentially toxic. He discusses why he believes more research is needed into this metal found in most vaccines today.
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  • Unsu...

    Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

    Tue, March 11, 2008 - 5:46 PM
    I don't even cook out of an aluminum pot because it's linked to alzheimers. I haven't read this article yet but am going to. Also, I wonder about the amount of aluminum that leaks into soft drinks that people drink everyday. You know if plastic can leak into out foods and water, I wonder the same about aluminum.
    • Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

      Tue, March 11, 2008 - 8:07 PM
      Thanks for posting. I only just read this last week in Sears' The Vaccine Book and it has my partner and I stalled on what to do next. I trust the Sears and their values so this holds a lot of weight for me. Much more so than the book my doctor gave me "Your Child's Best Shot: A parent's guide to vaccination" by the Canadian Pediatric Society which simply states, "The amount of aluminum is less than 1mg per dose. This amount of aluminum is not known to cause any harm to humans." That's the sum total of the statement put out by the Canadian Pediatric Society. Is that really supposed to be good enough when it comes to our children!?! Of course it isn't known to cause any harm!! No one has done any research!
    • Unsu...

      Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

      Wed, March 12, 2008 - 10:24 AM
      A friend of mine was having a lot of health problems. Her mother is very into combining holistic and western medicine techniques they were looking into everything that might be causing her symptoms (it turned out to be Lyme's disease that was never treated). They ordered blood tests to see what her levels of most vitamins and minerals were. Her Aluminum was sky high. They were trying to cut out the source of this. Her doctor said it could also be attributed to eating a lot of canned foods like black beans etc. Just another daily source we don't think about much.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

        Wed, March 12, 2008 - 10:39 AM
        what about antacids? I ate those like candy in pregnancy and they have some form of aluminum.... what was I thinking?

        • Soooo - I'm a researcher by profession... and the aluminum issue was just too big to put down. I thought I would share my findings with you all here with my sources so that you can follow up if you're so inclined. I am in the process of writing some letters to the health authorities here in Canada. I welcome any information that anyone can give me that would put me at ease enough to get my son the pertussis shot.

          Aluminum Toxicity in Vaccines

          Summary: It has been well documented that toxic levels of aluminum cause neurologic harm. The FDA has recommended that concentrations of aluminum in injectable IV solutions not exceed 0.025 mg/litre. Chapter 21 of the US Code of Federal Regulations [610.15(a)] restricts the amount of aluminum in biological products, including vaccines, to 0.85 mg/dose. While some level of aluminum is generally regarded as acceptable in vaccines by health authorities, there has been no research done to determine the safe level of aluminum in infant vaccines.

          In Canada – the current immunization schedule would have each infant receive approximately 2.225 mg of aluminum compound at each of their 2, 4 and 6 month visits. The pertussis/diptheria/tetanus vaccine (Pediacel) alone contains 1.5 mg of aluminum phosphate per dose and according to the health nurse there are no available alternatives in Canada for a pertussis vaccine with less aluminum. The Canadian Pediatric Society simply states that “The amount of aluminum is less than 1 mg per dose. This amount of aluminum is not known to cause harm to humans.”

          However a recent study out of the University of British Columbia injected adult mice with aluminum hydroxide at levels comparable to the 2.4 mg per dose present in the adult anthrax vaccine. Injected mice showed significant motor and developmental impairment and neuron death over the control group. It is unfathomable to me how health authorities can expect parents to inject a known neurotoxin into their children without evidence of its safe limits over the long term.

          The most standard arguments provided by health authorities during my enquiries into the safety of aluminum have included the following:

          • “Aluminum is natural in the environment and exists in our food, water, antacids and even in your breast milk.”

          The assumption is that since aluminum exists everywhere it must be safe. However, this argument does not acknowledge the cumulative impact of aluminum toxicity (it is precisely because it is everywhere that we should be concerned!) or that injecting aluminum has a much different impact on the body than ingesting it. The FDA acknowledges that relatively little aluminum is absorbed when ingested orally but that aluminum ingested parenterally bypasses the protective mechanism of the gastrointestinal tract and is absorbed throughout the body. Further, the American Academy of Pediatrics has noted that there have been reports of infants with healthy kidneys having elevated aluminum levels from ingesting antacids.

          • “Aluminum has been proven safe because it has been used in vaccines for 60 years.”
          No studies have been conducted which document the longterm effect of aluminum on infants. Further, the quantity of aluminum in vaccines has increased dramatically in the last 10 years as all the most recent vaccine formulations are now using aluminum at greater formulations and the cumulative effect of additional vaccines may be reaching toxic levels.

          Notes & References:

          • Dr. Robert Sears raises a concern about aluminum toxicity in “The Vaccine Book” © 2007 . Dr. Sears refers to several authorities about the known toxicity of aluminum including the FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics. In particular he cites the FDA requirement that injectable IV solutions contain no more than 25 mcg/Litre/day. He then goes on to show that infants at their 2 month vaccination in the US could be getting anywhere from 295 mcg to a “whopping 1225 mcg” depending upon the formulations used. Dr. Sears points out that no meaningful research has been done on aluminum on vaccines and advises parents to consider opting for vaccines with lower levels of aluminum or consider spreading out vaccinations over time to avoid aluminum toxicity on any given day.
          o See excerpt at:

          • In “Your Child’s Best Shot: A parent’s guide vaccinations”, the Canadian Pediatric Society simply states:
          “Several vaccines (such as diptheria and tetanus toxoids, and hepatitis B vaccine) contain a complex salt of aluminum called alum. The amount of aluminum is less than 1mg per dose. This amount of aluminum is not known to cause any harm to humans. Much larger quantities of aluminum salts are taken and absorbed into the body in the form of antacids (e.g. 200-400 mg of aluminum hydroxide per tablet) without any serious side effects.”

          • In Canada – infants are expected to receive the following vaccines at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months.

          Pediacel (Pertussis, Diptheria, Tetanus) - Aluminum Phosphate - 1.5 mg (1500mcg) per 0.5ml dose
          Recombivax HB (Hep B) Employs aluminum hydroxyphosphate. Amount not indicated on packaging.
          *Dr. Sears notes that the Hep B vaccines in the US contain 250 mcg of aluminum per dose but does not indicate brand.
          Prevnar (Pneumococcal Conjugate) - 0.5 mg (500 mcg) Aluminum Phosphate

          Total 2.25 mg (2250 mcg)*

          • In 1996, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a policy paper entitled “Aluminum Toxicity in Infants and Children” which concluded in part that aluminum can cause neurologic harm and that the toxic threshold of aluminum in the bloodstream may be lower than 100 mcg per litre. It also noted that while adults tolerated the aluminum in antacids, there were reports of infants with healthy kidneys showing elevated blood levels of aluminum from taking antacids. The paper does not mention aluminum in vaccines.
          o cgi/reprint/pediatrics;97/3/413.pdf

          • The Food and Drug Administration has recommended that concentrations of aluminum in parenteral solutions not exceed 25mcg/Litre and that all such preparations contain warning labels regarding toxicity for patients with impaired kidney function. The FDA notes specifically that, “Generally, when medication and nutrition are administered orally, the gastrointestinal tract acts as an efficient barrier to the absorption of aluminum, and relatively little ingested aluminum actually reaches body tissues. However, parenterally administered drug products containing aluminum bypass the protective mechanism of the gastrointestinal tract and aluminum circulates and is deposited in human tissues.”

          • Chapter 21 of the US Code of Federal Regulations [610.15(a)] limits the amount of aluminum in biological products, including vaccines, to 0.85mg/dose or 1.14 mg if determined by calculation on the basis of the amount of aluminum compound added. (Note that it wasn’t clear to me if this limit applies to aluminum or to an adjuvant such as aluminum hydroxide.)

          • University of British Columbia and Louisiana State University scientists, Petrik et al. published a paper entitled “Aluminum Adjuvant Linked to Gulf War Illness Induces Motor Neuron Death in Mice” (2007) 9 NeuroMolecular Medicine 83-100) . The authors demonstrated that mice injected with comparable levels of aluminum hyrdroxide adjuvant as found in the anthrax vaccine showed significant motor and developmental impairment and neuron death. The experiments provided the mice with 2 injections (2 weeks apart) based on comparable amounts of aluminum that are found in the Anthrax vaccine. A single dose of the AVA vaccine contains 2.4 mg of aluminum hydroxide (equivalent to 0.83 mg of aluminum). The researchers conclude that:
          "… the continued use of aluminum adjuvants in various vaccines (i.e., Hepatitis A and B, DPT and so on) for the general public may have even more widespread health implications. Until vaccine safety can be comprehensively demonstrated by controlled long term studies that examine the impact on the nervous system in detail, many of those already vaccinated as well as those currently receiving injections may be at risk in the future. Whether the risk of protection from a dreaded disease outweighs the risk of toxicity is a question that demands urgent attention. (p.96)"

          In an interview published in The Georgia Straight, one of the Vancouver researchers involved, Dr. Christopher Shaw was interviewed by Pieta Woolley, “It’s possible… that there are 10,000 studies that show aluminum hydroxide is safe for injections. But [Dr. Shaw] hasn’t been able to find any that look beyond the first few weeks of injection. If anyone has a study that shows something different, he said, please, “put it on the table. That’s how you do science.”

          *Note that I have seen aluminum hydroxide, aluminum hydroxyphosphate and aluminum phosphate used in different formulations in documentation without a clear understanding of the aluminum levels of each.
        • Unsu...

          Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

          Wed, March 19, 2008 - 1:37 PM
          Fin- Adults are able to process and discharge excess Aluminum better than babies and small children. So the antacids shouldn't really effect you since your body would have gotten rid of the aluminum. The Sears article explains this concept better than I can at the moment.
          • Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

            Wed, March 19, 2008 - 1:53 PM
            I have been trying to find some info on this and my friend was able to find this for me: (I have watched the video but haven't read all of the healing-arts info)

            "As of May, 2000, it is possible to get the entire course of childhood vaccines without thimerosal, since some manufacturers have developed thimerosal-free vaccines."


            • Unsu...

              Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

              Wed, March 19, 2008 - 7:28 PM
              Yes ,it is true you can get Vaccines that have a very small fraction of the Thimerosal that used to be used. Some Vaccines now have no Thimerosal whatsoever but it isn't possible to get all the Vaccines without Aluminum. You can read more about this in the article I posted above, and on Dr. Bob Sear's website and in his book (The Vaccine Book).
              • Ann
                offline 2

                Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

                Thu, March 27, 2008 - 10:42 AM
                Hey, I have been thinking of the aluminum in underarm deodorants?! I stunk after having birth and have used deodorants for awful BO -- yuck. I also BF and was wondering is the aluminum can get to my baby? This is terrible, since I haven't had any luck using natural deodorants!
                • Unsu...

                  Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

                  Thu, March 27, 2008 - 7:58 PM
                  I read that aluminum cannot be processed in the baby or adult body at all.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

                    Thu, March 27, 2008 - 11:50 PM
                    From everything I've read (and this is all just from my surfing and researching) - normal healthy adult kidneys do in fact eliminate aluminum from the system usually within a day or two of ingestion. Studies have shown that a healthy adult does not show any aluminum build-up from antacids for example. Altho' other studies have shown that babies do have build-up from ingesting antacids so it is likely that infant kidneys are not working at full capacity right from birth. It is also well-known that babies and adults that have kidney dysfunction are more susceptible to aluminum toxicity. The problem seems to be that no one really knows what the 'safe' level of aluminum is for healthy babies.

                    For those worried about breastmilk or deoderant - the amount in breastmilk is tiny and ingesting aluminum orally or topically does not have nearly the same impact as injecting it into the bloodstream.

                    (There is some more info and sources on these points in my long post.)
                • Unsu...

                  Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

                  Thu, March 27, 2008 - 9:10 PM
                  Try Aubrey's Men's Stock Deodorant spray. Completely natural and it works I swear. It has essential oil of pine as it's main ingredient, so it's very christmas tree in a way. I love it and it's worked on every stinky guy I've ever that says a lot. Every other "natural" deodorant I've tried has never worked even the Aubrey's womens version.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

                    Thu, March 27, 2008 - 9:13 PM
                    The deo is $5 here. Aluminum is yucky especially in deodorant because your armpits are full of lymph nodes. I think they can absorb the aluminum yuck.
                    • Unsu...

                      Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

                      Thu, March 27, 2008 - 9:13 PM
                      • Ann
                        offline 2

                        Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

                        Fri, March 28, 2008 - 2:05 AM
                        Thanks, I'll try anything! Sweating in the PP has been oh so fun, not to mention hair loss that just started -- yippee!
                        • doctor's ignorance when it comes to aluminum

                          Fri, March 28, 2008 - 8:44 AM
                          when i went in for my 4-month appointment at kaiser, i asked my pediatrician about the level of aluminum in the vaccines. she didn't know if they had it or not.


                          so, she's prescribing these things and doesn't even KNOW what the frick is IN them?


                          i realize that medicine has become pretty compartmentalized (like much else of our society, we don't know how to cook, make clothes, grow or kill things to eat, etc.), and that there's just too much out there to expect any doctor to know all of... but come ON. not knowing what potentially harmful substances are in a vaccine...? i guess she just trusts the pharmaceutical companies, or doesn't think aluminum could be an issue.

                          i'm going to call the injection clinic and try to track down the ingredients from there.

                          any of you have similar experiences trying to find out aluminum level in your vaccines?
                          • Unsu...

                            Re: doctor's ignorance when it comes to aluminum

                            Fri, March 28, 2008 - 9:58 PM
                            The Vaccine Book lists the ingredients in vaccines, and there amounts, including aluminum . Some vaccines have different formulas made by seperate manufacturers. So if you are concerned about specific ingredients like aluminum you have to find out what brand of vaccine your child would get at your doctors. You can request they order a specific formula of a vaccine that has the lowest or no aluminum content, though you might have to pay for it yourself. If you are concerned about ingredients in vaccines I highly recommend buying or borrowing The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sear he also has a website with lots o' information.
  • Re: Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal

    Fri, March 28, 2008 - 9:46 PM
    thanks for posting this article. it is timely for us here as delaney is now 4 mos and we are now looking for a new pediatrician since the move. it is always good to have some more information.

    the article is accessible and the links are very helpful.
    • Response from World Health Organization

      Thu, April 3, 2008 - 2:08 PM
      So I sent my letter to several health authorities including the vaccine division of the WHO. This is the response I got. I must say that I really really appreciated the respect with which the doctor answered my email. I was not satisfied to the response to the Petrik et al. study but they did answer several other questions.


      Dear Ms Archer,
      Thank you for submitting the query to the World Health Organization.
      Your concerns as a parent are understandable and making decisions on such complex issues as immunizations may be perceived as difficult.

      First let me address the issue of vaccines and infusion fluids aluminum amount. National pharmacopeias treat the two product groups differently, i.e. the maximum permissible amount for vaccines differs from infusion/dialysis/parenteral nutrition fluids. Patients who receive infusions may require large amounts of fluids given at once, may need to receive them over longer period of time and may suffer from underlying conditions with impaired ability to eliminate aluminum. For these reasons in the United States, small- and large- volume infusions used in parenteral nutrition are limited to contain not more than 25ug/L of aluminum, and water used for preparation of dialysate solution to <10ug/L. Presence of aluminum in these products has no function of an adjuvant, but is present in raw materials used in the production processes.

      National pharmacopeias limit the amount of aluminum salts added to vaccines as adjuvants to from less than 0.85mg to 1.25mg Al3+/dose, pending on method of ascertainment. As you mentioned Pediacel® contains 1.5mg of aluminum phosphate. This amount of aluminum phosphate contains 0.33mg of aluminum (Al3+) and about 1.17mg of phosphate. Pneumococcal vaccine that Canadian immunization schedule foresees contains 0.125mg of aluminum per dose, hepatitis B vaccines contain 0.25 mg. Not all vaccines require an adjuvant. Measles, mums rubella vaccines do not contain adjuvants.
      Aluminum adjuvanted vaccines are distinctly more effective that unadjuvanted vaccine for primary immunization of children. Adjuvant concentration and type of aluminum salt are optimized during clinical trials of vaccines. The amounts of aluminum administered with vaccines are considered safe, both from the point of the cumulative dose and from the point of concurrent administration of two or more vaccines not exceeding the maximum aluminum content threshold of a single dose.

      General information on aluminum is published by International Programme on Chemical Safety with collaboration of UNEP, WHO and ILO, and can reviewed at Environmental exposure to aluminum is an important issue. Although absorption of aluminum through food and water may be small (<1%), it occurs daily throughout whole life including intrauterine period. As for the faith of the injected aluminum, it quickly leaves the injection site, although some remains at injection site life long as a kind of vaccination tattoo. More than 50% of injected aluminum will be excreted within 24h, 85% within two weeks, and 96% within three years. Whatever the source, there is an overall slow buildup of aluminum in the body over a lifetime, vaccines contribute to less than 0.5% of aluminum deposit of a fully immunized healthy 70yr old person.

      The study of Petrik et all, is newly published and will be as it is a case with any other paper scrutinized by scientific community. It will gain in importance if the results are replicated by a different researcher group, but it should be said it is not unusual for results not to be obtained in different settings, or on a different animal model. You may be assured that national authorities including Canadian Public Health Authority as well as World Health Organization regularly review new evidence published or unpublished on vaccine safety and adjusts immunization policies or vaccine standards accordingly.

      World Health Organization can not offer any clinically related advice to individuals and therefore would suggest obtaining adequate counseling from your son's pediatrician who will be able to provide advice and answers to the questions. You can also contact Canadian Public Health Agency ( for further information.

      With kind regards,

      Dr Dina Pfeifer, MD MSc
      World Health Organization
      20, Avenue Appia
      CH-1211 Geneva 27

      Phone: +41-22-791-2978
      Fax: +41-22-791-4384
      Mobile: +41-79-500-6533

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