Brandon Turbeville

Over the last few years, the American people have become increasingly aware of the dangers of vaccination. This is due, in large part, to those in the independent media that had the courage to report on the serious side effects of vaccine ingredients such as aluminum, polysorbate 80, thimerosal, and squalene. As a result of increased education regarding vaccines, many Americans have come to resist the toxic injections. Indeed, nowhere was this more evident than the recent swine flu scam that left thousands and thousands of unused vaccine vials stuck on the shelves of pharmacies and health departments all across the country. Yet the vaccine and pharmaceutical companies, many medical doctors, and government health agencies have engaged in a massive public relations scheme in order to convince the population to forsake real science as well as their own common sense and take the shot. During the swine flu scare America was subjected to the usual scare tactics of medical doctors, intense media hype and alarm, and even ridiculous statements claiming that the mercury contained in vaccines is no more dangerous than the mercury in a tuna sandwich. (Infowars) This latter statement is of particular interest due to the fact that it is similar to some of the arguments vaccinators have used for some time and continue to use in their efforts to cast doubt upon the harmful effects of thimerosal. Mixing truth with fiction, they claim that ethylmercury (the mercury used in vaccines) is a very different form of mercury than methylmercury (the mercury found in fish) and that, between the two, methylmercury is more dangerous. A closer examination of the argument however, reveals a much different conclusion.

First, one must understand a few facts regarding thimerosal. Used as a preservative, thimerosal is made up of 49.6% mercury, a known neurotoxin. ( There are 25 mcg of mercury included in each regular season flu shot while the EPA sets the toxicity limit of mercury at .1 mcg. This is a 250 times greater amount than the EPA considers the toxic level in each injection. (Safeminds) While denial by vaccine makers and welfare scientists may exist as to the effects of ethylmercury compared to methylmercury, there can be no denial that mercury, in any form, is harmful to the brain. The argument made by vaccinators, of course, is that the harmful effects of ethylmercury are negligible when weighed against the benefits of the vaccine.

The claim that ethylmercury and methylmercury are different is, of course, true. They are indeed different mercurial compounds with methylmercury being the organic compound and ethylmercury the inorganic one. However, they are not nearly as different as the pro-vaccine camp would have you believe. For years, both methylmercury and ethylmercury were used as a fungicide until the 1970’s when both were banned from use due to adverse health effects. Not only is there an acknowledgement of the danger of ethylmercury from the EPA’s own data report, but clearly there are more similarities between these two compounds than vaccinators would let on. (EPA Data Report)

Regardless of similarities between these forms of mercury, it might still be held that methylmercury remains the more dangerous of the two. Indeed, this is one of the major claims made by the “no more dangerous than a tuna sandwich” camp. Yet even this argument doesn’t hold water when used in context of vaccination. This is largely due to the fact that ethylmercury metabolizes in the human body as methylmercury. Therefore, while it may be true that ethylmercury levels in the brain do decline quickly, this is only because the ethylmercury has essentially turned into methylmercury. So the fact that methylmercury appears to cause more damage than ethylmercury is largely irrelevant in this situation, as well as misleading, since methylmercury is ultimately the substance that ends up in the brain. Not only that, studies have shown that there is even a higher proportion of methylmercury in the brains of monkeys injected with ethylmercury than those who ingested the methylmercury itself (with ratios of up to 71% to 10%). Renal damage was also greater in the ethylmercury treated monkeys than that of those treated with methylmercury. (Burbacher)

Another interesting connection was made by the authors of a study entitled, “Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal,” one the studies that shows the metabolic transformation of ethyl- to methylmercury. In this study it was stated,

Stereologic and autometallographic studies on the brains of these adult monkeys indicated that the persistence of inorganic Hg in the brain was associated with a significant increase in the number of microglia in the brain, whereas the number of astrocytes declined……It is important to note that ‘an active neuroinflammatory process’ has been demonstrated in brains of autistic patients, including a marked activation of microglia. (Burbacher)

Although the authors are not suggesting that thimerosal-containing vaccines cause autism, this is clearly evidence that they do. As can be seen, there is a correlation between inorganic mercury (methylmercury) in the brain and autism. Taken with the fact that ethylmercury metabolizes as methylmercury, one can easily deduce the connection between vaccines and autism. This connection is not as difficult to make as vaccine pushers would make it out to be.

Lastly, vaccine advocates often claim that thimerosal has been removed from vaccinations. However, this is absolutely untrue. While thimerosal-free versions of many vaccines are available by request and the preservative has been removed from many childhood vaccines that are on the CDC recommended childhood vaccination schedule, it has by no means been removed from all or even most vaccines. The H1N1 and regular flu shots contain full amounts of mercury while many other vaccines contain “trace” amounts. That is, they contain less than the usual 25 mcg present in other vaccines containing the “full” amount. Many vaccines contain “trace” amounts of thimerosal that were “left over from the manufacturing process.” (Safeminds) Also, one should be aware that the removal or reduction of thimerosal from childhood vaccines never applied to vaccines that were not on the CDC recommended childhood vaccine schedule. (Safeminds)

While thimerosal receives much of the press when discussing the dangers of vaccination, individuals should be aware that mercury is not the only dangerous substance contained in vaccines. Squalene, aluminum, polysorbate 80, and many others are included in most of these vaccines and are certainly capable of causing harm on their own or in combination. Any patient, especially a parent, should be aware of the risks and dangers associated with vaccination and should make their decision accordingly, regardless of the orders of their doctor or the propaganda on their television.

Works Cited

Nimmo, Kurt, CFR: Vaccines No More Harmful Than Tuna Sandwich

Thimerosal/Mercury: Mercury in Vaccines

10 sources of mercury you can do something about

Data Report for the Washington, DC Portion of the Rock Creek Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load Calculation

Burbacher, Thomas M.; Shen, Danny D.; Liberato, Noelle.; Grant, Kimberly S.; Cernichairi, Elsa.; “Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Expose to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal.” Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 113, Number 8, August 2005.