Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-15-2016, 03:19 PM
Jinx Jinx is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Lost In Space
Posts: 7,801
Why Is There Trace Hg in Some Vaccines?

A simple question: In this age of clean rooms and precision purification processes, why is there trace amounts of mercury (Hg) in vaccines? Where does it come from, and why can't it be removed? And, should this make us wonder where else Hg is hiding, like in our food, maybe?
  #2  
Old 09-15-2016, 03:31 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,867
Your question is that you don't know it's used as a preservative, or you don't understand why we'd use preservatives at all?

Here's what the CDC says about it: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Con...sal/index.html

Mercury is present in the environment and eating seafood (especially higher-level predators like tuna and swordfish) is probably the biggest exposure most people face.
  #3  
Old 09-15-2016, 03:31 PM
ftg ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 16,031
A. It's an additive to a few vaccines.
B. It's a preservative.
C. It's not the same type of mercury as in poisoned fish.
D. The bad kind of mercury is all over the place. From food, in the air from coal power plants, etc. You're exposed to a much bigger amount of this than the lesser type.
D. Preserved vaccines are a good thing. It's better to have a working vaccine with an incredibly small amount of mercury. The theoretic harm is insignificant compared to the proven benefits.
E. It doesn't cause autism. In fact, since it's been removed from childhood vaccines, autism rates have continued to climb.

See the CDC about this. (The first hit I got from Googling.)
  #4  
Old 09-15-2016, 04:48 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire, England
Posts: 13,359
It's not "mercury", it's a compound that contains mercury, called thiomersal, or thimerosal. It's used as a preservative, to prevent harmful bacteria growing in vaccines. It's been phased out of most vaccines nowadays, basically because of public outcry rather than because of any actual risk. About the only place you'll still find it is in flu-mist vaccines.
  #5  
Old 09-15-2016, 04:50 PM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Jefferson
Posts: 7,774
The "offending" compound is thimerosal, and organomercury preservative.

Last edited by watchwolf49; 09-15-2016 at 04:51 PM. Reason: nin'ga'ed
  #6  
Old 09-15-2016, 05:00 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 73,883
And even aside from that, there's trace amounts of everything in everything.
  #7  
Old 09-15-2016, 05:03 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
Posts: 19,903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
And even aside from that, there's trace amounts of everything in everything.
Including Trump pee in your beer.
  #8  
Old 09-15-2016, 05:12 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Including Trump pee in your beer.
Moderator Note

Let's avoid political jabs in GQ. No warning issued, but I am likely to warn the next gratuitous reference to Trump I see.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
  #9  
Old 09-15-2016, 05:31 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 73,883
And Clinton pee, and Stein and Johnson and Sanders and Bush and Kasich and Cruz pee. I don't think Amateur Barbarian meant anything special about Trump.
  #10  
Old 09-15-2016, 06:06 PM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Jefferson
Posts: 7,774
Don't forget my pee ... and Round-Up {Cite}.
  #11  
Old 09-15-2016, 08:11 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 28,901
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
A simple question: In this age of clean rooms and precision purification processes, why is there trace amounts of mercury (Hg) in vaccines? Where does it come from, and why can't it be removed? And, should this make us wonder where else Hg is hiding, like in our food, maybe?
As common an element as mercury is, it's not surprising that trace amounts are "hiding" in our food, water, soil etc.
The cost of removing microgram/picogram/really really tiny amounts of mercury (if it was even possible) would be prohibitive, not to mention nonsensical given the fact that such minute amounts are not harmful to humans.

Here's an FDA article on the subject of thimerosal (mercury-based) preservative, which lists vaccines recommended for children aged 6 and under. The only vaccines still containing thimerosal preservative are multi-dose vial influenza vaccines. Single-dose flu vaccine vials do not contain thimerosal (with one exception having a trace amount) and are the form used to vaccinate most children in the U.S. against influenza. The list cites only one other vaccine that contains thimerosal in a trace amount (one of three formulations of DTaP). Everything else is thimerosal-free.

Thimerosal was removed from the vaccines that once contained it (again, with the exception of multi-dose vial flu vaccines) back in 2001, as a precautionary measure. No negative health effects have been demonstrated as a result of its use. Reported autism incidence actually rose in the years since thimerosal's removal from vaccines (if it had actually caused autism, incidence should have plummeted).

The mercury-in-vaccines meme represents a dead controversy, an ex-kerfuffle and a non-entity, except for a group of antivax Toxin Warriors who just can't let it go.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 09-15-2016 at 08:12 PM.
  #12  
Old 09-15-2016, 08:13 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,135
I wonder if the people who worry about mercury in thimerosal also worry about the highly reactive sodium and deadly chlorine in their table salt.

--Mark
  #13  
Old 09-15-2016, 08:19 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 22,718
Or radioactive foods.
  #14  
Old 09-15-2016, 09:30 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: 192.168.0.1
Posts: 9,783
Quote:
Originally Posted by markn+ View Post
I wonder if the people who worry about mercury in thimerosal also worry about the highly reactive sodium and deadly chlorine in their table salt.

--Mark
Or the explosive components of their drinking water.
  #15  
Old 09-15-2016, 09:54 PM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Jefferson
Posts: 7,774
Coffee beans that come from a civet's butt.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:19 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017