More than two decades ago, the mercury-based preservative thimerosal was introduced into vaccines, sparking concerns about its potential impact on neurological and developmental health.
While steps were taken to reduce its presence, up to 25 micrograms of thimerosal still remain in certain influenza vaccines, including those administered to vulnerable groups like pregnant women, infants, and children.
Thimerosal, comprising around 50% mercury by weight, metabolizes into ethylmercury, accumulating primarily in the brain and kidneys. While U.S. health agencies consider thimerosal in vaccines safe, it’s important to note that mercury, in various forms, can be highly toxic.
Studies indicate that ethylmercury, found in thimerosal, can have effects comparable to methylmercury, which is well-known for its toxicity. Furthermore, the retention of released inorganic mercury, particularly in the brain, raises concerns about its long-term impact.
Despite this, thimerosal has been present in various vaccines over the years, potentially exposing children to levels surpassing recommended limits. Independent research has consistently highlighted the potential harm of thimerosal, countering claims of its safety.
Multiple studies suggest a link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. Concerns extend to the interaction of thimerosal with other heavy metals like aluminum, commonly found in vaccines, and the cumulative effects of multiple doses containing these ingredients.
Additionally, the EPA classifies mercury as a highly toxic substance, known to have adverse effects on the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune system. This raises critical questions about the continued use of thimerosal, especially in vaccines administered to sensitive populations.
In light of over 30 U.S.-licensed vaccines containing thimerosal as a preservative in the past, there has been a growing recognition of the need for comprehensive research on its potential impacts. It is essential to delve deeper into the long-term effects of thimerosal, particularly in conjunction with other elements present in vaccines.