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Dispelling Myths Regarding the Use of Thimerosal in Vaccines

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By Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN
Executive Director
World Mercury Project
(Downloadable PDF)

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Recently, entertainer John Oliver discussed vaccines on his weekly HBO program Last Week with John Oliver. In doing so, he exposed viewers to several inaccuracies about vaccine safety, including those regarding the use and toxicity of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. In developing his monologue, it appears that Mr. Oliver—like numerous news outlets who promote vaccines as universally safe and effective—relied solely on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which continues efforts to persuade the American public that injecting mercury into pregnant women and children with thimerosal-containing flu vaccines is safe.

The talking points reviewed below were derived from a recently published article by CNN titled Thimerosal: Everything You Need To Know About This Vaccine Preservative.  These talking points are at best misleading, and at worse, patently false. The World Mercury Project has responded to each of the CNN/CDC talking points with factual information in our effort to educate consumers to avoid this completely unnecessary and dangerous neurotoxin.

CNN Statement: Thimerosal is best known as a preservative used in some vaccines to keep them from becoming contaminated. The preservative has gotten a lot of attention over the years, particularly since it was removed from childhood vaccines in 2001. Several studies have shown that the preservative is safe, but not everyone has been convinced. (Note, there is no link provided to support the statement that thimerosal is safe.)

WMP Fact:  Although thimerosal was slated for removal from childhood vaccines in 1999, the reformulation process took several years.  Products containing thimerosal were not recalled and the manufacturers were allowed to continue to distribute thimerosal containing vaccines well into 2001 that had a two year expiration date. In 2003 when all the residual stock of thimerosal containing vaccines was almost distributed, the CDC Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) made the new recommendation that all pregnant women, infants starting at six months of age and children receive flu vaccines annually.

This recommendation was contradictory to the fact that the prestigious Institute of Medicine made the recommendation in 2001 that pregnant women, infants and children NOT receive thimerosal preserved vaccines. At the time, the vast majority of flu vaccines contained thimerosal. The fetus is especially vulnerable to mercury exposure because it accumulates mercury at a higher rate than the mother.  This flu season approximately 48 million doses of flu vaccine containing thimerosal were distributed, leaving pregnant women, infants and children in the U.S. at risk of mercury exposure.

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 Here’s what you need to know about what it is (and what it isn’t).

CNN Statement: Thimerosal is the most widely used preservative in vials of vaccines used multiple times, a mercury-based organic compound that can prevent bacteria and fungus from growing.

WMP Fact:  While it is true that thimerosal is a widely used preservative, it is not necessarily an effective preservative. In 1975 the FDA convened a panel of experts to review the use of thimerosal as a preservative. The agency issued a report of the panel’s findings in the Federal Register where they concluded that “some mercury-containing preparations are not effective and others are not safe and effective” for antimicrobial use.

With respect to thimerosal in particular, the panel found evidence from 1950 which concluded that “thimerosal was no better than water in protecting mice from potential fatal streptococcal infections.” and “35.3 times more toxic for embryonic chick heart tissue than for Staphylococcus aureus.” The panel concluded that “thimerosal was not safe for OTC topical use and not effective as a topical antimicrobial because its bacteriostatic action can be reversed.”

Most of the literature reviewed addressed mercury’s lack of antibacterial properties. One study published in 1970 titled, “Three thousand years of mercury. A plea for abandonment of a dangerous, unproven therapy,” addressed mercury’s lack of effectiveness regarding anti-fungal properties.  

Why do vaccines need preservatives?

CNN Statement: Vaccine makers started using preservatives in the 1930s after they found that contamination could become a problem with multi-dose vaccines. Doctors learned that the hard way in 1928, when 12 children died after getting vaccinated for diphtheria. An investigation found that the multi-dose vaccine had been contaminated with living staphylococci. The children had been injected with the diphtheria vaccine and a staph infection.

WMP Fact: While it is true that preservatives are used to prevent bacterial contamination in multi-dose vials of vaccines, there is ample evidence provided by federal agencies and independent scientists that spans the last 80 years which documents that thimerosal is not an effective or safe vaccine preservative.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1948 titled “The bacteriostatic and bactericidal actions of some mercurial compounds on hemolytic streptococci,” the authors vigorously argued that thimerosal was ineffective as a “disinfectant, germicide and antiseptic.”  In the review of the literature in this paper, the authors cited eight studies from 1928, 1935, 1937, 1938, and 1944 all of which drew similar conclusions.

There are several recent reports of thimerosal’s failure as a preservative as well.  Clusters of disease from Group A streptococcus infections were traced back to multi-dose vials of diphtheria toxoid, pertussis, and tetanus toxoid (DPT) vaccine which were contaminated after being opened.  Additionally, in 2004, a Chiron plant that manufactured Fluvirin was forced to close because its vaccine was contaminated with Serratia marcescens. This vaccine used thimerosal as a preservative in its product. In this case and others, thimerosal failed to prevent bacterial growth which resulted in dangerous infections.

What happens to the preservative in your body?

CNN Statement: Your body easily eliminates the thimerosal. Unlike chemicals that might stay in your body for a long time, it is quickly removed from the blood and excreted in your waste. Thimerosal does not build up in your system like other mercury-based compounds can. (Note, this link takes you to the CDC website where this statement is repeated, but with no references or resources to support the claim)

WMP Fact:  This statement is patently false. Thimerosal does leave the blood stream faster than methylmercury, but that is because it more quickly moves into the tissue and organs in the body than methylmercury.  A 2005 study funded by the National Institutes of Health compared brain mercury levels in infant monkeys exposed to injected ethylmercury (thimerosal) and equal amounts of ingested methylmercury. In this study, ethylmercury exposure resulted in twice as much inorganic mercury in the brains of the infant monkeys compared to those exposed to methylmercury. Specifically, the relative concentrations in monkeys with detectable levels of inorganic mercury were 16 ng/g in thimerosal-treated monkeys and 7 ng/g in the methylmercury-treated monkeys in which inorganic mercury levels were detectable.  Inorganic mercury was below detectable levels in 8 out of 17 of the methylmercury-treated monkeys. Inorganic mercury has an estimated half-life in the brain of 27 years. Exposures to mercury during these critical periods of development disrupt the growth and migration of neurons, with the potential to cause irreversible damage to the central nervous system.

Is it safe?

CNN StatementHundreds of studies have shown that it is extremely safe for humans. Several comprehensive reviews have shown there is no evidence of harm caused by low doses. (This links to the CDC website, but there is no data to support this claim on the site.) In animals, some studies have shown central nervous problems, coma and death, although the same has not been found in humans.

WMP Fact:  There are several reports of deaths in the medical literature from exposure to thimerosal.   In April of 2001 thimerosal was nominated by the FDA to be reviewed by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) due to the lack of toxicity and safety data. In the nomination, several cases of acute mercury poisoning from thimerosal-containing products were documented. These reports included the exposure to thimerosal from immune globulin (Matheson 1980) hepatitis B immune globulin (Lowell 1996), thimerosal ear irrigations in a children with tympanostomy tubes (Royhans 1994), thimerosal treatment of omphaloceles in infants (Fagan 1977), and a suicide attempt with thimerosal (Pfab 1996). These studies reported local necrosis, acute hemolysis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, acute renal tubular necrosis, and central nervous system injury including obtundation, coma, and death resulting from the exposures.

Are there any side effects?

CNN Statement: The most common side effect is a mild rash or redness at the injection site. There may also be a little swelling. All of these symptoms disappear quickly. On rare occasions, some people have had allergic reactions to the preservative.

WMP Fact:  What CNN fails to acknowledge are the thousands of families who have reported developmental regression of their children after exposure to thimerosal containing vaccines.  One such case was actually covered by CNN in 2007 when a child who received multiple thimerosal-containing vaccines regressed developmentally within 48 hours after receiving the vaccines and was later diagnosed with autism.

Do children get vaccines with thimerosal?

CNN Statement: All routinely recommended vaccines for children in the US are available in a thimerosal-free formulation or contain only a trace amount.

WMP Fact:  Flu vaccines are universally recommended for infants and children. Approximately 1/3 of all flu vaccines contain thimerosal.  According to the CDC, 48 million doses of flu vaccine manufactured this year contained thimerosal.  A trace amount is defined as being 1 microgram (mcg) or less.  Flu vaccines contain 25 mcg of mercury. According to EPA mercury exposure guidelines of 0.1 mcg per kilogram of body weight, a baby would need to weigh 550 lbs to be able to safely process the amount of mercury in a thimerosal containing flu vaccine. State and Federal guidelines require that any product that contains more than 0.2 milligrams per liter (200 PPB) of mercury must be disposed of as a hazardous waste. All flu vaccines preserved with mercury that are not used must be disposed of as hazardous waste because they contain 50,000 PPB mercury.

What makes it different from other mercury-based products?

CNN Statement: Thimerosal is an ethylmercury; the mercury that can be found in fish is a methylmercury. Though they are only one letter apart, the substances are different. Mercury is an element found in the Earth’s crust. We are all exposed to mercury as we live on the surface of the planet. It’s in our water, in our soil and in the air. Methylmercury is created when mercury comes into contact with some bacteria. Doctors warn pregnant women to avoid some fish because it can be contaminated with this form. Unlike ethylmercury, which can pass through your body quickly, methylmercury can linger and accumulate. If enough accumulates, it can be toxic.

In 1999, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee held a meeting to discuss the safety of thimerosal. Some who testified worried that babies were unable to eliminate the mercury from their systems. Follow-up studies of infants showed that they “excreted significant amounts of mercury in stool after thimerosal exposure,” meaning it was removed from the body quickly, compared with methylmercury.

WMP Fact: Evidence that ethylmercury quickly passes through the body is not supported by scientific research which documents that ethylmercury accumulates in the kidneys and brain tissue. Although infants have been found to excrete some mercury in their stool after exposure to thimerosal containing vaccines, the amount excreted does not account for the amount injected. Michael Pichichero, a pediatrician, measured mercury concentrations in stool of 22 normal infants exposed to thimerosal in vaccines, ages two and six months, and found a range of 23-141 nanograms of mercury per gram of stool (dry weight). The authors interpreted these levels, mere parts per billion, as positive evidence of mercury elimination. But these mercury levels are extremely low and not nearly enough to allow for rapid excretion as the authors propose.

One of the few researchers who studies the effects of ethylmercury is Thomas Burbacher, PhD, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and director of the infant primate research lab at the National Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle. Burbacher says that just because ethylmercury is gone from an infant’s blood soon after it receives a dose of thimerosal — a half-life of just 3.7 days in the Pichichero study — doesn’t mean it’s gone from the body. “It could have gone to the brain,” Burbacher tells WebMD. “Although total mercury levels in the blood are lower following thimerosal exposure [than following methyl mercury exposure], mercury in the blood from thimerosal has an easier time getting to the brain than methylmercury.”

If it is safe, why was it removed from kids’ shots?

CNN Statement: Based on the recommended childhood vaccination schedule, there was concern that some babies could be exposed to a higher cumulative level of mercury in the first six months of life from these shots. At the time, babies got diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenza type b and hepatitis B shots. If an infant got all three, the accumulation went beyond the EPA guidelines for methylmercury.

WMP Fact: This is actually a factual statement.  WMP would like to add that the amount that infants received from thimerosal containing vaccines was far in excess of EPA guidelines.  An average 5 KG infant at 2 months of age could receive 62.5 mcg of mercury from vaccines.  According to EPA guidelines the allowable exposure levels would be .5 mcg.  Infants were routinely exposure to 125 times EPA allowable guidelines based on weight.

A study published in Pediatrics in 2000 measured blood mercury levels in newborns administered the Hepatitis B vaccine, containing 12.5 mcg of ethyl mercury.  The investigation documented elevated post-immunization concentrations relative to pre-immunization levels in all neonates studied.  One infant was found to have developed a mercury level of 23.6 mcg/L, thus meeting the CDC criteria as a case of chemical poisoning from mercury.

Experts contend that there are “windows of vulnerability” which occur during neurological development and that specific types of developmental outcomes may have separate windows of vulnerability.  These critical periods of development have not been established and may be relatively short in duration. The fact that thimerosal from vaccines has been documented to raise blood mercury levels over known thresholds where developmental effects have been documented to occur during the first few months of life means that particular “windows of vulnerability” may have been breached.  Even minor neurological impairment can have profound societal effects when amortized across the entire population and life span.

For more information regarding the use of mercury in vaccines see click here.

For more information about the use of thimerosal in vaccines see World Mercury Projects FAQ

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Awareness

Glyphosate & Colorectal Cancer in Young Adults

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by By Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, President of Children’s Health Defense.

  • Reflect On:

    How did our federal health regulatory agencies ever approve something so dangerous and damaging to human health?

In Part I, “The Disturbing Increase in Colorectal Cancer in Young Adults,” we called attention to the steep rise in colorectal cancer incidence in young people in their twenties and thirties and discussed the risks associated with viral vaccines. In Part II, we discuss glyphosate as another plausible culprit in the colorectal cancer epidemic.

Gut bacteria play a pivotal role in shoring up brain health and overall health. This fact has become a widely acknowledged talking point in scientific circles as well as in the popular press. The reverse is also true—when diet or environmental factors produce gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of the microbes that reside in the gastrointestinal tract), the imbalance can “impact the pathologies of many diseases.”

Colorectal cancer has increased by 51% in Americans under age 50 since the mid-1990s, and researchers suggest that “early life exposures…may be contributing to the rise” in that age group. A leading hypothesis is that gut dysbiosis is playing an active part—perhaps by disrupting young people’s immune response and triggering overactivation of cell signaling proteins in the colon. Some researchers have even posited a “bidirectional self-feeding relationship” between the gut microbiome and colorectal cancer, with gut dysbiosis contributing to colorectal cancer growth and progression, and tumor growth in turn disturbing the gut microbiome.

Autism investigators have been at the forefront of research on the gut microbiome. They point to environmental toxins and antibiotic use as two influences that can shift the gut’s microbial composition in an unfavorable direction. Scientists attribute up to 85% of colorectal cancers to environmental and microbial factors. Glyphosate (the leading ingredient of Roundup) is both an herbicide and a patented antimicrobial. Could the upward trend in glyphosate usage that began roughly three decades ago have something to do, therefore, with the skyrocketing incidence of colorectal cancer in young people? Although recent court cases linking Roundup to cancer have focused mostly on other types of cancer such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the evidence that glyphosate wreaks havoc with gut bacteria has led many researchers to suspect that the answer is yes.

Glyphosate in the air and everywhere

These days, glyphosate exposure affects everyone, not just farmworkers. Newsweek reported in 2016 that the world is “awash in glyphosate,” with a fifteen-fold increase in Roundup use since the mid-1990s. American agriculture sprays glyphosate on at least 70 food crops. As a result, glyphosate residues are now rampant in the U.S. food supply, including in the processed Cheerios, Doritos and Oreos so frequently gobbled up by children and adolescents.

Studies have documented concerning levels of glyphosate in Americans’ urine and breastmilk. One study of U.S. adults found that average glyphosate levels in urine increased by a factor of thirteen over the two-decade period between 1993–1996 and 2014–2016—and seven out of ten study participants had glyphosate levels above the limits of detection. Mean levels of a glyphosate metabolite called AMPA measured approximately 36 times higher in the second time period. Moms Across America has reported high levels of glyphosate in three out of ten breastmilk samples tested.

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Glyphosate and the gut

A variety of in-progress clinical trials are exploring the link between the intestinal microbiota and colorectal cancer. Completed studies have already shown that individuals with colorectal cancer “display instability in the composition of their gut bacterial communities when compared with healthy controls” and have elevated levels of unfavorable bacterial species. Several of these species exhibit “pro-inflammatory and pro-carcinogenic properties, which could consequently have an impact on colorectal carcinogenesis.” In fact, researchers suggest that measurement of these out-of-whack bacterial populations could have “potential value as a marker of colon cancer.”

The widespread and intensive use of glyphosate has exacerbated “distortions in microbial communities.” Researchers note that:

Shifts in microbial compositions due to selective pressure by glyphosate may have contributed to the proliferation of plant and animal pathogens. …[W]e hypothesize that the selection pressure for glyphosate-resistance in bacteria could lead to shifts in microbiome composition and increases in antibiotic resistance to clinically important antimicrobial agents.

Researchers Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff have written extensively about glyphosate in a series of papers elucidating “pathways to modern diseases.” They note that in animals, glyphosate “has been shown to disrupt gut bacteria…, preferentially killing beneficial forms and causing an overgrowth of pathogens.” Overgrowth of opportunistic pathogens can lead to a breakdown of the gut lining and the development of “leaky gut” syndrome. Researchers describe “the loss of gut barrier integrity” as “an early event which contributes to chronic inflammation,” and they have observed both gut dysbiosis and a dysfunctional intestinal barrier in colorectal cancer patients.

Turning a blind eye

Far from sticking up for American consumers, U.S. regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have largely turned a blind eye to concerns about glyphosate safety. The environmental website EcoWatch reported in 2016 that although the FDA routinely tests foods for pesticide residues, it had never tested for glyphosate residues until that year; EPA critics believe that the agency “has been unduly influenced by the agrichemical industry.” EcoWatch also observed that U.S. regulators allow a much higher “acceptable daily intake” of glyphosate than is permitted in other countries.

In July, 2019, Children’s Health Defense filed a lawsuit against Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, asserting that the company’s labeling and marketing practices “deceive parents who seek to be mindful of what is contained in the baby foods they provide to their infants.” Independent laboratory testing identified multiple synthetic pesticides, including glyphosate, in Beech-Nut’s “Naturals” line of baby food. Children’s Health Defense and Chairman and Chief Legal Counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. take the health of our most precious resource—our children—very seriously and are at the forefront of legal efforts to challenge fraud and free children from exposure to toxic chemicals.

The rising toll of colorectal cancer deaths in young people who are in the prime of life points to the urgent need to reset regulatory priorities and put people before profits. Glyphosate’s deleterious effects on the gut microbiome—just one of many problems associated with the herbicide—are one more nail in the coffin for a toxic product that is well past its use-by date.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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Awareness

Johnson & Johnson Found To Have Knowingly Allowed Asbestos In Their Baby Powder

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Johnson and Johnson have recently lost lawsuits for negligence in knowingly allowing carcinogenic substances in their talc-based hygiene products.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we starting to turn the page on an era where human health and safety are not the prime considerations in the manufacturing of consumer products?

We are starting to awaken to the fact that it seems to be the rule, and not the exception, that large Western corporations put profits above human health considerations. The only time they seem to give any regard to human health concerns is when their forecasts of potential lawsuits down the road would likely exceed the cost measures needed to ensure the safety of their product.

Johnson & Johnson is just one of a long line of corporate perpetrators who believed that covering up and lying about known health concerns would make better business sense than taking the time and resources to actually address those health concerns within their products.

Contaminated Baby Powder: The Height Of Indignity

One would think, regardless of an understanding that the bottom line is a priority for most private companies, that the health and safety of a nursing mother and her newborn child would be sacrosanct for any industry. The reality is that this is simply not the case, even though J&J could have mitigated this problem from the start.

Companies that mine talc are required to take extra steps to ensure the absence of asbestos in their talc. Instead, J&J allegedly went to great lengths to fake it.

Not only did the company know about the asbestos contamination, evidence suggests, but J&J also failed to warn its customers about the link between Baby Powder and cancer or replace its talc with a safer alternative. As a result, J&J guaranteed its customers’ exposure to asbestos.

And regardless of their size or numbers, asbestos fibers are lethal at any capacity. As the World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed repeatedly, there is no safe level of exposure. (source)

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The Testimony of Scientist James Webber

Baby Powder’s contamination with asbestos (a mineral that naturally occurs near talc) has long been the subject of lawsuits. But only in recent years has evidence begun to unravel J&J’s defense – that the company had no idea – and threatened its success in lawsuits to come.

In March, a California jury awarded $29 million to Terry Leavitt, a woman who said that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-powder-based products caused her terminal mesothelioma. Environmental scientist James Webber testified in her high-profile California trial and made these observations:

During several hours on the stand, Webber explained how he ran tests that showed “clear” evidence of asbestos contamination in the mines from which J&J sourced talc.

“The testing I have seen [shows] that it was present at least as early as 1971 and up through the late 1990s,” said Webber, who ran an asbestos laboratory in New York state.

Despite denying it publicly, J&J had observed this contamination in internal memos. Its notes dismissed the amount of asbestos in its talc as “but a trace,” Webber alleged. But that was just an optimistic interpretation of superficial testing, he said: the tests used methods too weak to detect microscopic asbestos fibers. Webber insisted the actual tests results revealed there could be millions of asbestos fibers per gram of talc.

And J&J’s inaccurate reports were allegedly only the tip of the iceberg. In some instances, Webber said, photos attached to J&J’s reports revealed that “they had been seeing it and not reporting it.”  (source)

And It’s Getting Worse

The $29 million verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, was the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate facing more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide. And things may be getting even worse for J&J, according to ZeroHedge:

Johnson & Johnson shares are down over 5% after Bloomberg reports that, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether Johnson & Johnson lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder…

Now, a grand jury in Washington is examining documents related to what company officials knew about any carcinogens in their products, the people said.

The Takeaway

It seems as though corporations have long been willing to take the calculated risk of short-cuts and denials instead of ensuring that their products are safe for public use. My suspicion is that a part of our collective awakening process will be issuing in a new business paradigm in which human health and safety become paramount.

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Awareness

Prescription Infant Formulas Found To Be Contaminated With Aluminum

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple brands of prescription infant formula were found to contain high levels of aluminum.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be questioning the quality of products that come from pharmaceutical production? Do we veer away from natural methods of raising children more than we should? At what cost?

You may not think aluminum is a big deal, but it is. For anybody who has looked into aluminum toxicology, it’s quite clear and apparent that it has no place inside of any living biological organism. Putting it simply, it wreaks havoc on our biology. High amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, with experts in the field believing that aluminum brain accumulation may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s also been discovered within the brains of MS patients, and some of the highest aluminum content ever recorded in brain tissue has also been discovered in people with autism. Aluminum is associated with several diseases. But an adult body can do a great job of flushing out aluminum.

Despite the fact that aluminum has no place within earth’s biota, it’s still present in many of our medications, our food, and even in the water that we drink due to contamination since the industrial revolution. Aluminum inside the body is a new phenomenon and still understudied. Again, there is a threshold, and aluminum that is injected via vaccines doesn’t exit the body–there is strong evidence that it remains inside the body and ends up in distant organs and eventually inside of the brain. If you want to access more studies on that topic, you can read this article I published that provides them and goes into more detail. You can also watch this interview with Christopher Exley, where he also points to that fact.

A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shown that multiple popular infant prescriptions are contaminated with aluminum. You may be asking how much aluminum, but the authors make it a point to stress that there are no safe amounts of aluminum levels that can be inside of a human body, let alone a newborn baby. That being said, the amounts found are listed within the abstract of the study:

Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium.

Another very important point made right off the bat by the authors:

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Human exposure to aluminium is a serious health concern. Aluminium exposure in infants is understandably a burgeoning issue. While infant exposure to aluminium continues to be documented, its consequences, immediate and in the future, have received only scant attention and research is required to understand the biological availability of aluminium through formula feeding. For example, how much aluminium is absorbed across the neonate gut and its subsequent fate, including excretion.

There is already too much aluminium in infant formulas and herein we have measured its content in a large number of prescription formulas, products which are fed to vulnerable infants in their first months of life. Many of these products are heavily contaminated with aluminium.

As for the specific infant formulas, you can refer to the study. The researchers obtained 24 prescription infant formulas via the Paediatric Clinic of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, United Kingdom. The ready-to-drink and powdered products were new, ready-to-be used and unopened samples. These formulas are for babies with some sort of growth restriction, like for preterm infants or infants who have poor weight gain. There were also powdered formulas for allergies and intolerances and powdered formulas with additional amino acids.

The authors contacted each manufacturer and expressed that they denied knowing that there was any aluminum in their products, which means it’s still a mystery as to their source. The authors hypothesize on a number of ways that aluminum could be entering into the formulas.

In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that:

Where possible, breast milk feeding should be prioritised, as the aluminium content of breast milk is invariably an order of magnitude lower than in formula feeds. Where infant formulas are the only source of nutrition for many infants in their first weeks and months of life, aluminium ingested in formula feeds will be the major contributor to their body burden of aluminium. The last thing that vulnerable infants fed specialised formulas for their specific nutritional/medicinal need is additional aluminium in their diet.

Detoxing

There is a lot of information out there on how a person can detox from aluminum and other heavy metals. There are multiple studies, and based on what I’ve looked into, water with high amounts of Silica are effective in draining aluminum out of your body and brain. Herbs like cilantro and substances like chlorella and spirulina are also great for removing some metals. The information is out there, so be sure to do your research.

The Takeaway

It’s concerning to think about what these corporations are doing. Again, aluminum should hold no place in our society, it should’ve remained well below our surface as part of the Earth’s crust for a reason. It wasn’t until humans began digging it out and using it for a number of things, irresponsibly I might add, that we started to see the health implications which still go largely ignored by the medical community.

In fact, heavy metal accumulation and detoxification of aluminum haven’t been addressed at all, which is odd given the fact that heavy metal accumulation is linked to a variety of diseases.

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