Aluminum in vaccines may be linked to health risks
Aluminum used in vaccines may be linked to serious health problems, according to a new study by two UBC researchers. But a medical-health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health says the benefits associated with vaccines outweigh the risks.
“Aluminum is well demonstrated as a neurotoxin,” said Chris Shaw, a UBC professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences who cowrote the recently published study Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are They Safe? with lead author Lucija Tomljenovic. “Yes, these are small amounts, for sure, but what can small amounts do? If a small amount can hyperdrive the immune system, it can do something else, and it appears to contribute to motor-neuron loss.”
Aluminum is the most common adjuvant—a chemical substance used to boost the immune system’s response to a vaccine—and has been used in vaccines for almost 90 years. But in their study, which was published in the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry, Shaw and Tomljenovic contend that medical science’s understanding of the metallic element’s mechanisms of action in the body remains poor. They argue that experimental research shows that aluminum adjuvants have the potential to induce serious autoimmune disorders, long-term brain inflammation, and associated neurological complications.
Furthermore, they say that because the evaluation of pharmacokinetic properties isn’t required for vaccines, evidence is lacking regarding the safety of simultaneous administration of different vaccines to young children whose nervous systems are rapidly developing.
Aluminum exists in Earth’s crust and in countless foods, from pickles to microwave popcorn. But although people are exposed to aluminum through the environment and their diet, Shaw and Tomljenovic counter that there’s a big difference between the way food sources of aluminum are absorbed by and excreted from the body and how vaccine-derived aluminum undergoes the same processes.
Tomljenovic, who recently had a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease on the link between the metallic element and that neurodegenerative condition, said that only very small amounts of aluminum are needed to produce neurotoxicity and that the substance actively crosses the blood-brain barrier.
“The main problem with aluminum is that even regular dietary intake can have long-term adverse consequences to the nervous system,” she told the Georgia Straight. “This has been verified by studies done in rats who were fed the equivalent of what humans take over a lifetime and then exhibited classical Alzheimer’s symptoms. The control rats fed an alum-free diet did not show such adverse outcomes. The reason for this is that aluminum is highly toxic and poorly excreted.
“Even the little that we absorb from food tends to accumulate and persist in a body, especially the brain,” she added. “The situation with vaccines is vastly different because we get much higher amounts from vaccines but that amount is almost 100 percent absorbed because it bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. So injectable aluminum is potentially more toxic than ingestible aluminum.”
Tomljenovic’s study concludes that immediate steps should be taken to lessen human exposure to aluminum, which may be the “single most aggravating and avoidable factor related to Alzheimer’s”.
Other conditions have been linked to aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, Shaw and Tomljenovic say in their study. Macrophagic myofasciitis, a muscle disease first identified in 1993, has been specifically attributed to aluminum adjuvants in recipients of hepatitis A and B and tetanus vaccines.
Meena Dawar, VCH medical-health officer, maintained that vaccines are safe.
“They save countless lives every day,” Dawar said on the line from her office. “A hundred years ago, infectious diseases were the number one cause of death in Canada”¦.In the developed world, we don’t see infectious diseases today thanks to vaccines.”
Dawar said that one reason for opposition to vaccines is that people haven’t witnessed firsthand the effects of diseases like polio, which can cause muscle stiffness and pain, meningitis, and in some cases paralysis or, even rarer, death.
“We don’t see polio in a big way; we don’t see whooping cough or measles in a big way,” she said. “But diseases can come back. Hopefully, polio won’t come back in Canada. These bugs are just a plane ride away.
“Ten infants in California with pertussis died last year,” she said of the serious and contagious yet preventable bacterial illness. “That’s just outrageous.”
Dawar said that the amount of aluminum used in vaccines is minute. “The amount an infant is exposed to at the two-, four-, and six-month shots is the same as what they’d be getting in their diet that day, through breast milk and formula. It’s a drop in the bucket. It’s easily excreted.
“We need to remind people that aluminum is safe and that it’s thanks to aluminum that vaccines work so well”¦.It has stood the test of time.” Shaw and Tomljenovic are continuing their research of aluminum-adjuvant safety, including more investigation into the link between aluminum and autism-spectrum disorders.
“Are aluminum adjuvants as safe as the industry and medical profession says they are? Our conclusion is that they’re not,” Shaw said. “Much more scientific study needs to be conducted.
“We are not telling people not to vaccinate their children; we are not doctors,” he added. “We don’t give recommendations. People have to do what they think is best. But we don’t think we can pretend that adverse reactions don’t happen and that aluminum is not a neurotoxin. We need to examine the issue more carefully.”
Jun 22, 2011 at 6:49am
Here's a column I wrote last year in the Capital Times newspaper. As you can see, the amount of aluminum used in vaccines is anything but minute.
With the vaccines available in the U.S. today, parents can avoid vaccines preserved with thimerosal (50% mercury) for their newborns and infants. This is not the case with aluminum, which has been linked to impaired neurological development in children.
Aluminum has not replaced thimerosal as a vaccine preservative; it has always been used in vaccines.
Its purpose is to generate an immune response, thus providing a person the ability to produce adequate levels of antibodies to the vaccine being administered. Unlike thimerosal, if aluminum is removed, the vaccine will not work.
In the recent past, most kids got exposed to both thimerosal and aluminum simultaneously with the hepatitis B, Hib, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) and pneumococcal vaccines. Combining mercury with aluminum increases the likelihood that the mercury will damage human tissue.
While aluminum is in the food we eat at much higher levels, it is not absorbed well through the gastrointestinal tract. When this protective gastrointestinal mechanism is bypassed, aluminum toxicity can cause serious problems.
There are currently eight childhood vaccines that contain aluminum ranging from 125 to 850 micrograms (mcg). These vaccines are administered 17 times in the first 18 months of life, an almost six-fold increase compared to the vaccine schedule of the 1980s.
According to the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, based on IV feeding solutions, a child should not exceed a maximum daily dose of 5 mcg of aluminum per kilogram of weight per day. That means if a child weighs 11 pounds, the child should not exceed 25 mcg in a day. This level was determined to be the maximum safety limit based on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled "Aluminum Neurotoxicity in Preterm Infants Receiving Intravenous Feeding Solutions."
The hepatitis B vaccine, administered at birth, contains 250 mcg.
In a 1996 policy statement, "Aluminum Toxicity in Infants and Children," the American Academy of Pediatrics states, "Aluminum can cause neurological harm. People with kidney disease who build up bloodstream levels of aluminum greater than 100 mcg per liter are at risk of toxicity. The toxic threshold of aluminum in the bloodstream may be lower than 100 mcg per liter."
So let's say an infant receives 1,250 micrograms at 2 months of age (three vaccines). Assuming a child's body contains a half liter of blood, this would put the blood level 25 times higher than the above mentioned levels.
Now people will argue whether an intramuscular injection (such as vaccines) would introduce aluminum into the bloodstream at the same level as an IV feeding solution. Unfortunately, the purpose of direct intramuscular injection is to provide rapid access to the bloodstream. This provides direct access to all target organs such as the brain.
The real eye-opener is a recently published paper where the authors investigated Gulf War syndrome based on the fact that soldiers were getting sick without deployment to the Persian Gulf region. They eventually focused on aluminum used in the anthrax vaccine. Injecting mice with aluminum at levels equal to what the soldiers received induced motor neuron death. The dose, per body weight, given to children easily exceeds what the soldiers received.
One must question whether exposing newborns to aluminum is worth the risk to protect them against a sexually transmitted disease (hepatitis B). If aluminum can cause injury to an adult, combat-ready soldier, what is it doing to newborns?
Michael Wagnitz of Madison is a chemist.
Norma Erickson, President SaneVax Inc.
Jun 22, 2011 at 2:41pm
Michael, I agree with you and the authors of the recent study on aluminum adjuvants. The truth is safety studies which should have been deemed necessary prior to aluminum introduction into vaccines simply have not been done. It is high time the scientific and medical community begin to investigate the implications of using such high levels of aluminum.
Jun 22, 2011 at 3:45pm
If only doctors would be as forthright as Professor Shaw, they would not make recommendations to parents based on assumptions, as they do currently. There are 500,000 reports of adverse vaccine reactions in the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) database, and it is common knowledge that the totals are not complete - the number of adverse events reported may still be as low as 1% of the actual total, as estimated years back by JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. The VAERS reports are not submitted haphazardly - the adverse reactions, most certainly, are always at least temporally related to the offending vaccine, and they include epilepsy, encephalopathies, and death. The national Vaccine Court has awarded over $2 billion for vaccine injury, including, once again, vaccine-induced epilepsy, vaccine-induced brain damage, and vaccine-induced death. There are tens of thousand of parental anecdotes - that is, accounts from eye witnesses - of obvious and terrible damage inflicted by vaccination, to children who were healthy before entering the doctor's office - or, these days, possibly a CVS pharmacy - for shots.
Yet public health authorities and most doctors, when asked about such reports, casually advise us to discount said reactions because "correlation isn't causation". Truth be told, they have no way of knowing. Based on the medical establishment's vaccination stance, they apparently feel justified denying the possibility that some, perhaps most, perhaps all, of those reports are of genuine vaccine injury. They are completely outside their authority when they make such comments, considering that they're asking us to summarily dismiss serious illnesses - such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and epilepsy - and death as unrelated to vaccines, when they have no proof, and it's those very vaccines they are recommending. It's dishonest, and shows great disdain for the parental authority - responsibility! - for the health of children, for it denies vital information. Though the Nuremberg Code is not binding in law, it is an ethical mandate, and includes provision of complete vaccine information to every potential vaccinee, to fulfill the concept of informed consent.
There are many, including myself, who consider vaccines responsible for the autism epidemic. At the present rate of increase, by 2032 every boy in the U.S. will be on the spectrum, and by 2040, every girl as well - that's in our lifetimes... on the horizon. Now more than ever we need the CDC to do what it should have done long ago; compare the medical histories of the vaccinated, vs the unvaccinated, to determine the comparative numbers of learning and behavioral disorders. There are over a million unvaccinated children - by choice - so vaccine supporters need have no fear of denying protection. There is no excuse for not initiating such a study.
Jun 23, 2011 at 8:14am
Aluminium adjuvant is present to boost the immune response. This is not identical to immunity - many are mislead in this respect.
Regarding mercury, it is normally possible to exclude it in injections except for trace amounts, by making single-dose instead of multi-dose preparations. Single-dose injections do not normally require preservatives, but they are more expensive to produce than multidose injections.
Inclusion of aluminium in vaccines has a financial aspect. Aluminium is cheap, antigen is expensive. When antigen is present in small quantities and (therefore) adjuvant is in large quantities, production costs for vaccines may be considerably reduced.
The basic fact that substances behave differently according to route of administration appears to be often forgotten by medical students and many others!
This statement made by made by Meena Dawar, VCH medical health officer is therefore illogical and misleading: -" the amount of aluminum used in vaccines is minute. The amount an infant is exposed to at the two-, four-, and six-month shots is the same as what they’d be getting in their diet that day".
There is no safety standard for injected aluminium.
In addition to looking at toxicity and amounts of specific ingredients it is important, in fact it is imperative, that interactive effects are considered.
A few of many examples:
Polysorbate 80/Tween 80 is included in certain injections: (chemotherapy, psychiatry), for drug targeting. It renders the blood-brain barrier more porous, facilitating passage of substances through the barrier and into the brain tissue.
In vaccines the presence of polysorbates is extremely undesirable. The HPV vaccine Gardasil contains polysorbate and aluminium. The risk is therefore that aluminium and other substances pass easier through the blood-brain barrier and into the brain tissue. A higher concentration of aluminium in the brain would then be expected in a vaccine which contains emulsifying agents such as polysorbates.
The H1N1 pandemic vaccine Pandemrix contains both polysorbate and mercury. It is worrying that this vaccine is given to pregnant women and small children as fetus' and small childrens' blood-brain barriers are under developed.
In addition to considering the toxic effects and specific amounts of aluminium, it is necessary to look at the potential harm of all the ingredients at once.
Jun 24, 2011 at 8:59pm
Aluminum in Vaccines -- a Neurological Gamble, by Neil Miller, director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute. It documents the hazards associated with aluminum-laden vaccines. Children are receiving high concentrations of aluminum in their shots. This well-documented neurotoxin may be more dangerous than mercury.
Vaccines containing high concentrations of neurotoxic aluminum were added to the child immunization schedule when several vaccines containing mercury were removed. Two-month old babies now receive 1,225 mcg of aluminum from their vaccines -- 50 times higher than safety levels! Although the FDA, CDC and World Health Organization are aware of the dangers, they expect parents to play Russian roulette with their children
When mercury was removed from many vaccines (except the flu vaccine) years ago, it was under the false guise that finally vaccines were now safe. What health agencies did not want you to know is that there are many other toxic additives still in vaccines, and one of them is aluminum.
Aluminum has not received the widespread media attention that mercury has, therefore many people don’t realize it’s a health risk.
When you or your child is injected with a vaccine, the aluminum compounds it contains accumulate not only at the site of injection but travel to your brain and accumulate there. In your brain, aluminum enters neurons and glial cells (astrocytes and microglia).
Studies have shown that aluminum can activate microglia and do so for long periods, which means that the aluminum in your vaccination is priming your microglia to overreact.
The next vaccine acts to trigger the enhanced inflammatory reaction and release of the excitotoxins, glutamate and quinolinic acid.
Meanwhile, if you come down with an infection, are exposed to more toxins, or have a stroke or head injury of any kind, this will magnify the inflammatory reaction occurring in your brain due to the vaccines. Research has shown that the more your immune system remains activated, the more likely it is you’ll suffer from a neurodegenerative disease.
The aluminum hydroxide used in many vaccines, including hepatitis A and B, and the Pentacel cocktail for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and meningitis, has been clearly linked to symptoms associated with Parkinson"s, ALS (Lou Gehrig"s disease), and Alzheimer"s.
Scientists discovered the link after injecting mice with an anthrax vaccine developed for the first Gulf War. After 20 weeks, a fifth of the mice developed a skin allergy, and memory problems increased by 41 times compared to a placebo group. Also, inside the brains of mice, 35 percent of the cells that control movement were destroyed.
There is overwhelming evidence that chronic immune activation in your brain is a major cause of damage in numerous degenerative brain disorders, from multiple sclerosis Alzheimer"s disease, Parkinson"s and ALS, which may explain the link between aluminum-containing vaccines and these diseases.
Late last year a team of scientists also found that vaccination involving aluminum-containing adjuvants could trigger the cascade of immunological events that are associated with autoimmune conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome and macrophagic myofasciitis, a condition that causes profound weakness and multiple neurological syndromes, one of which closely resembles multiple sclerosis.
Jun 26, 2011 at 6:28pm
I am concerned with how Fluoride in drinking water and other sources that pass into the blood reacts with the injected aluminum. This increases its toxicity at least by a factor of 10--as fluoride drives more aluminum into the brain--but little is said about this anywhere.
Jul 6, 2012 at 11:32pm
Thanks for sharing your excellent column, Michael! I agree with what you say in principle, but have a few comments:
"With the vaccines available in the U.S. today, parents can avoid vaccines preserved with thimerosal (50% mercury) for their newborns and infants. This is not the case with aluminum, ..."
You make it sound as if there was no choice, when aluminium and other neurotoxic ingredients can in fact be avoided simply by opting out of the vaccine child poisoning schedule.
"Aluminum has not replaced thimerosal as a vaccine preservative; it has always been used in vaccines."
I don't know when aluminium was first added to vaccines, but it wasn't used in early vaccines such as the vaccine against smallpox.
"Its purpose is to generate an immune response, thus providing a person the ability to produce adequate levels of antibodies to the vaccine being administered."
That's what we are being led to believe. Personally I am convinced that aluminium is (like mercury) added with the intention to impair children's mental functions as a tool of social control. Bertrand Russel le
"... if aluminum is removed, the vaccine will not work."
Vaccines are supposed to imitate natural infection - minus the disease. Since when does nature need aluminium to create immunity? This alone shows that the claim that vaccines "immunise" is blatant nonsense. Vaccines "work" in that they are effective at what they are meant to do: impair children's normal functioning and inducing chronic ill-health.
Bertrand Russell and others have referred to this in their writings.
Mar 8, 2013 at 12:38am
It is not enough to obey Big Brother, you must love him... and his vaccines. Your body is stupid, it can't figure out immunity for itself, you must inject it with heavy metals and genetically modified organisms for it to survive. Silly conspiritards, you thought your immune system could evolve and stuff. What's next? Drinking round-up is bad for you too?