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(41 Posts)
Jimjams Wed 28-May-03 18:23:41

Interesting article on thimerosil:,,7,00.html

(thanks tamum)

BTW if you want thimerosil free DTP for your children ask for the brand Infanrix-hib. NHS surgeries will order it in for you if you ask.

(Just as an aside I think thimerosil - or at least the DTP- was the first push towards autism for ds1).

robinw Wed 28-May-03 21:54:02

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tamum Wed 28-May-03 22:37:41

I agree, robinw. It says in the article they (the family it's about) have been trying chelating agents for their son but without much hope because of his age. I guess the problem would be to find something that would cross the blood brain barrier and not be toxic in its own right.

Jimjams Thu 29-May-03 08:40:58

chealtion- it is horrible though and very dangerous- can lead to sudden death. My friend's autistic daughter had to have chelation therapy as she had very high lead levels- it was not a good experience.

The ARU have found that improvements are seen whilst chelation is being carried out but that regression occurs when it is stopped.

I asked ds1's consultant whether we could check ds1's mercury levels as I had some minor dental work done whilst pregnant (supposedly safe although the dentist I saw then was crap and I now don't trust him). Consultant (who happens to be in charge of the immunisation programme here- we get on so well ) refused. It is hard to get an accurate measurement of mercury levels though as it goes and binds itself to tissues.

Gem13 Thu 29-May-03 08:58:04

Jimjams - the link seems to have expired. Can you tell me who the article was by or some search word in the title please? I'm interested in reading it.


aloha Thu 29-May-03 10:17:32

Go to timesonline and then type vaccination into the search box on the left at the top and the story will come up, click on it to read. I worked all this out for myself! Clever me!

BTW very interesting story so thanks for pointing it out Jimjams. Do you know of a link to a complete list of jabs with Thimerosil in? My ds is 20 months and I expect he'll be expected to have more injections. He's had measles and rubella separately and we're waiting for mumps.

Jimjams Thu 29-May-03 10:26:01

I did have one aloha- but I lost it! I am currently sorting out my study so I'll let you know if I find it.

Basically most jabs except MMR/ or monovalent M M and R have it (not polio).

Infanrix hib is thimerosil free- I think that is often used as a booster anyway. The whooping cough element is supposedly less effective than in the thimerosil containing ones which is why it isn't standardly used for the baby jabs. BUT I suspect that isn't true- and the effectiveness of the original vaccine has probably been overestimated. It's never been particularly effective anyway and the new strain of whooping cough means that it's useless against that anyway (don't know the ratio of new strain to old strain- don't think anyone has looked).

All the unusual jabs have it as well I believe- like hepatitis- I think that's why it's bigger in the States- their children actually receive more thimerosil containing jabs than ours.

Scary figures from California. They supposedly represent the numbers of classic autism, and not AS. If by that they are including children like my son then they make a mockery of the argument that it's down to better diagnosis. I don't think a child starting school without speech could have been missed even in the 70's and 80's. If they aren't including children like my son (as despite his speech he's fairly high functioning) then that's even scarier!

aloha Thu 29-May-03 10:40:53

Thanks Jimjams. I think I will have to ask some hard questions about future vaccinations. I avoid the hv totally these days so aren't sure what ds is 'supposed' to have. I think I'll dig out my record book and have a look.

Marina Thu 29-May-03 10:54:44

Thanks for this Jimjams. I am beginning to think that for all subsequent family vaccinations we will be checking out thimerosil-free alternatives (where they exist) with our local clinic. We are lucky to have them, as they are pro-vaccination but very clued up about why some vaccines and combinations of them can be bad news for some recipients.

robinw Thu 29-May-03 19:27:17

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pamina Wed 11-Jun-03 11:50:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jimjams Wed 11-Jun-03 12:07:21

pamina- you can ask for infanrix- BUT I'm not sure they're still allowing it for the infant jabs becuase its Hib component hasn't worked well. I'm afraid your GP is wrong- the other makes do contain thimerosil and therefore mercury.

keep and eye on the hib thread- I've asked susanmt to quiz her dh about this! Hopefully there is still a mercury free brand. In Aus they still use infanrix.

pamina Sat 14-Jun-03 08:30:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Davros Wed 18-Jun-03 21:50:53

Thanks to Jimjams I had baby girlie jabbed with Infanrix yesterday. The nurse told me that they keep it for pre-schoolers as a booster. She checked with one of the Drs and it was agreed that we could have it. She has sent me home with the leaflets from the packets of Menjugate and Hiberix for me to study to make sure I'm happy with them. Does anyone have any info or advice on these or any alternatives to suggest? We are spacing everything out anyway as we have autism in the wider family 3 times.........! Thanks so much.

Davros Thu 19-Jun-03 19:49:02

Still need more info/advice if anyone's out there!

tamum Thu 19-Jun-03 20:40:33

This isn't an answer Davros, but there was another article of interest today in the Times- I can't link to it directly beacuse of the way their site is organised, but here's the same story on the BBC website:

Davros Thu 19-Jun-03 21:58:56

Thanks Tamum, its always good to be able to show more reasons for caution although I've been supported at my GPs so far.

pamina Fri 27-Jun-03 16:43:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prufrock Fri 27-Jun-03 17:03:33

Probably something to do with the fact that this was on BBC breakfast this morning. DOH spokeswoman was very defensive - it's obvious they are shitting themselves over thimerosil becoming the next MMR and everybody asking for the mercury free jabs. DD has already been done, but I would have doubts about having the vaccines now - but I'm not worrying about it because there is nothing I can do now.

The OH woman said that the mercury containing jabs are much more effective, the mercury is completely different to that found in food and is not the accumalating sort, the levels/bodywieght are within guidelines, and that the research showing otherwise is fundamentally flawed. All sounding very convincing - but I don't trust them at all.

Davros Fri 27-Jun-03 21:00:10

I got Infanrix just a week and a half ago and told to take away the leaflets for the others and let them know if I think they are suitable! I was told that the acellular type is less effective but I said not as ineffective as not having it at all! The Practice Nurse and GP agreed. However, we do have a very good reason for caution which is a severely autistic older son, my older sister has aspergers and a cousin's only son (2 daughters) is also autistic. Don't think MMR or other jabs caused my son's autism but still prefer caution to avoid "setting it off" if there's a predisposition.

robinw Sat 28-Jun-03 07:50:39

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aloha Sat 28-Jun-03 10:38:42

I found this on the net, and thought it was very helpful. I gave ds his injections not knowing about this. I don't think I'd do it again.

Sorry it's so long. But all my attempts at links have failed. I can't text either!

Drug Information Center
Is mercury present in vaccines?
The presence of thimerosal in marketed vaccines has been a cause of concern for many healthcare providers. Thimerosal is an organic mercurial compound that has been used since the early 1930s as a preservative in multi-dose vials of pharmaceutical and biological products. The preservative actions of thimerosal aid in preventing contamination in multi-dose vials after opening.
Thimerosal breaks down into 2 components, sodium thiosalicylate and ethylmercury, and is eventually metabolized into inorganic mercury. It is distributed primarily in the central nervous system, kidneys, liver, and skin. Mercury crosses the blood brain barrier and the placenta; infants and the fetus are the most at risk for toxicity to occur. Mercury exposure by expecting mothers has been shown to cause neurological abnormalities. Infants exposed in utero to mercury have shown developmental delays. In addition, the possibility of a link between mercury exposure and neurological disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has been evaluated.
Concentrations of thimerosal in vaccines and immunoglobulins range between 0.005 and 0.02%, a non-toxic concentration. However, a concern exists, not from exposure to a single vaccine, but that over a relatively short time span, children can be exposed to multiple vaccinations containing thimerosal, which is 49.6% mercury by weight. This repeated exposure might put children at risk for mercury toxicity.
There currently are no guidelines that set acceptable exposure levels to ethylmercury, the main mercurial component of thimerosal. The data used to determine toxicity potential have been correlated with levels of methylmercury, NOT ethylmercury. Since there is a lack of comparative data on metabolism, elimination, toxicity, and risk to fetus between ethylmercury and methylmercury, there are still questions as to whether or not exposure to ethylmercury poses the same threat as exposure to methylmercury. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other organizations have developed recommended limits on methylmercury exposure levels in the diet. Levels range from 0.7 m g/kg bodyweight per week (EPA) to 3.3 m g/kg bodyweight per week (WHO). However, these are not absolute numbers, for example, the EPA reference range has an uncertainty factor of 10-fold as a protection for a developing fetus. The levels are meant to be a way to evaluate mercury exposure, NOT levels at which toxicity will definitively occur.
Researchers have estimated that an infant who received vaccinations based on the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) during the first 14 weeks of life could have a mercury exposure ranging from 34 m g (EPA) to 159 m g (WHO). If an infant received the standard bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), oral poliomyelitis, diphtheria-tetanus-whole cell pertussis (DTP), hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines, the total potential exposure could have been as high as 187.5 m g. A review of thimerosal content of vaccinations, conducted by the FDA in 1997, concluded that the possibility existed for an infant to receive enough mercury from vaccinations within the first 6 months of life to exceed the recommendations regarding methylmercury intake stated by the EPA.
Although the FDA review found no evidence of harm caused by the amount of thimerosal in vaccinations beyond minor local reactions, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the United States Public Health Service (PHS) issued a joint statement regarding thimerosal content of vaccines in 1999. This statement established a goal of removing thimerosal from all infant vaccines as soon as possible. Since publication of this statement, much effort from pharmaceutical manufacturers has been made to remove thimerosal as a preservative from pediatric vaccines. A summary of the thimerosal content of routine pediatric vaccines is presented in table 1.
Table 1. Thimerosal content of routine pediatric vaccines.
Vaccine Tradename (Mfr) Thimerosal content
DtaP Infanrix - GlaxoSmithKline Free
Tripedia – Aventis Pasteur Trace*
Pneumococcal conjugate Prevnar – Wyeth Lederle Free
Inactivated Poliovirus IPOL – Aventis Pasteur Free
Varicella Varivax – Merck Free
Mumps, measles, and rubella MMRII – Merck Free
Hepatitis B Recombivax HB Free
Engerix B Trace*
Haemophilus influenzae type B conjugate (Hib) ActHIB – Aventis Pasteur Free
OmniHIB – GlaxoSmithKline Free
PedvaxHIB – Merck Free
HibTITER – Wyeth Lederle Free (single dose vials)
Hib/Hepatitis B combination Comvax – Merck Free
*Contains less than 1 m g thimerosal/ 0.5 mL dose.
A more detailed listing of the thimerosal content of U.S. licensed vaccines is available at:
In conclusion, the thimerosal content of vaccinations has been a concern for healthcare providers with regards to the potential for neurodevelopmental adverse events in children associated with the byproduct of thimerosal – mercury. Thimerosal is metabolized to ethylmercury for which there is no definitive toxicity level defined. Currently, available toxicity data is correlated with methylmercury levels. In the past, an infant who received all recommended vaccinations within the first 6 months of life could have exceeded the recommended intake of methylmercury as established by the EPA. A joint statement issued by the AAP, ACIP, AAFP, and PHS in 1999 called for the removal of thimerosal from vaccines as soon as possible. Since the issue of this statement, many companies have reformulated their vaccines to either remove thimerosal completely or significantly reduce the thimerosal content.

aloha Sat 28-Jun-03 10:41:13

BTW it's from the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy, not an anti-vaccination site.

robinw Sun 29-Jun-03 08:19:32

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robinw Sun 29-Jun-03 08:20:46

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