Follow us on Facebook/Beachcomber Newspaper




Beachcomber
5199 E. Pacific Coast Hwy. #608
Post Office Box 15679
Long Beach California, 90815-0679
Phone: (562) 597-8000
Fax: (562) 597-9410
editor@longbeachcomber.com advertising@longbeachcomber.com
Feature Stories

Harmful Mercury Additive Still Found In Vaccines

From Issue: Volume XVIII - Number 19
9/10/2010


Kirt Ramirez

Drug store pharmacies in Long Beach and across the nation already have signs out to “get your flu shot here.” But what they don’t tell you is the vaccines contain mercury – the most toxic element on Earth after plutonium.

Nowadays people can receive flu shots that do not contain the mercury preservative thimerosal, but they are limited.

Because of grass-roots movements like “SafeMinds,” “Moms Against Mercury” and others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now provides some thimerosal-free flu shots. But the CDC says on its website: “The majority of influenza vaccines distributed in the United States currently contain thimerosal as a preservative.”

From consulting with local drug store pharmacists from Walgreens, Rite Aid and Albertson Savon, the Beachcomber has learned they do not offer thimerosal-free flu shots.

But the pharmacists are not to blame for using mercury; they simply follow the federal government’s guidelines. The CDC approves of mercury in the flu shot and defends and promotes the toxin, saying it is safe for use in vaccines and that there is no “convincing” evidence that thimerosal is dangerous.

Each flu shot contains 25 micrograms of mercury, CBS News reported.
Several European countries and Japan have already stopped using thimerosal. Russia banned it some 30-years ago.

It appears the best way to avoid mercury in the flu shot in America is to get the vaccine through your doctor by asking for the “single-dose” “no-thimerosal” “no-mercury” flu shot, the Beachcomber has learned. If you don’t ask, you will be given thimerosal.

Mercury is found in “multi-dose” vials, which allows ten doses to be manufactured at once. It is a cost saver for vaccine manufacturers. When a vial is poked by a different needle each time, air enters and can cause contamination if no preservative is used. Thus thimerosal is added, since mercury kills living organisms. This has been going on since the 1930s despite advances in medicine.

Why mercury is still allowed in vaccines remains unknown. Some speculate lobbyists with the vaccine companies play a part. But media coverage of mercury also plays a role. The media largely fails to explain how poisonous the element is.

There is nothing good about having mercury in the body. It’s far worse than lead and can be toxic even in small doses. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers mercury a hazardous material.

All forms of mercury are toxic but some compounds are worse than others. Thimerosal contains 49 percent ethylmercury, a close relative of the better-known methylmercury – the type that is 100 times more toxic than basic elemental mercury and is found in fish nowadays due to industrial pollution.

Poisonings happened at Minamata Bay and Agano River, Niigata, Japan, where people died during the 1950s from eating fish that was high in methylmercury caused by contamination by factories. Many who survived became mentally retarded.

Iraq used to spray ethyl and methylmercury on wheat seed as a fungicide until people started dying and developing nervous-system disorders later when they ate the bread.

The compound dimethylmercury is even more dangerous. Karen Wetterhahn, a researcher with Dartmouth College, died in 1997 of mercury poisoning about one year after spilling only a few drops of dimethylmercury on her latex glove.

Wetterhahn had trouble pronouncing her words and began losing her balance about six months after the accident, then went into a coma. Her death made headlines and startled the scientific community at the time, showing them how hazardous mercury can be.

Mehmet Oz, MD, of the program “Dr. Oz” said during a show that it takes the human body about six months to eliminate the methylmercury found in one can of tuna after eating it – if no other fish is eaten.

Dr. Oz says on his website, “When mercury gets into our bloodstream, it goes right to our brain and attacks our nervous system. Left untreated it can cause permanent neuropsychiatric brain damage, learning disorders in children, autoimmune disease, and even heart problems,” according to www.doctoroz.com.

“Even if you don’t have these symptoms, mercury can still do you harm. It is the second most toxic agent next to plutonium, so experts recommend minimizing it as much as possible in your diet,” Dr. Oz adds.

According to a heavy metal handbook in the Long Beach City College library, introversion appears to be the most prominent feature in persons affected by mercury.

Other symptoms include gastro-intestinal problems, shyness, depression, confusion and lowered intelligence, as the metal is attracted to the brain and spinal cord.

The term “mad as a hatter” described hatters who became mentally unstable when working with mercury for use in felt hats.

Unlike other metals, mercury can negatively affect human tissues at a concentration of only a few parts per million, which is well-known in medical literature. The argument that a poison is determined by its dosage does not apply here.

During the 1990s more infant vaccines were added to the children’s schedule. During this time babies received up to 187 micrograms of mercury during the first six months of life. A typical dose received by a two-month old who received three mercury vaccines was 125 times the EPA’s daily allowable exposure levels.

During that same decade the number of brain-damaged kids across the country skyrocketed and government officials began to wonder if the mercury being injected into the babies’ bodies could play a role in the sudden “autistic” explosion. Thus mercury levels in babyhood inoculations were reduced starting in 1999. But not for the flu shot.

California’s “Mercury-Free” Act which took effect July 1, 2006 also lowered mercury levels in vaccines for kids under three years old and pregnant women – but like the CDC, the State still allows some mercury in the shots contrary to popular belief and media reporting.

What about pets?

William Ridgeway, DVM, of Long Beach Animal Hospital, was asked about mercury in animal vaccines. He initially did not believe it could be in the drugs.

After looking at product packaging and calling the vaccine manufacturer, he learned some dog and cat vaccines also contain thimerosal. Dr. Ridgeway contacted his colleagues to ask them if they ever heard of such a thing. But they had not, he said.
“I felt duped,” Dr. Ridgeway later told the Beachcomber. “I’m sure the USDA approved it, but I’d rather not give mercury to anything.

Mercury is not a good thing.” He said he would now look for vaccines that do not contain thimerosal.

Jean Dodds, a veterinarian and research scientist who has studied vaccines for 47 years, said, “We do not want to inject mercury into pet animals when they’re vaccinated.”

Jonathan H. Salkind, DVM, who is the medical supervisor for Centinela Feed vaccination clinics said: “Clients should have the right to know.”

Pet owners can request thimerosal-free vaccines which are now on the market and the vets can shop around to find them. Ultimately the clients have the upper hand because they are paying the bill.

Meanwhile, the debate continues whether or not mercury vaccines are safe. The government now concludes they are, but other research says they are not. The same applies to “silver” amalgam dental fillings, which contain 50 percent pure elemental mercury and have been used since the 1800s – and are still used today contrary to popular belief.

That mercury is still used in vaccines and dental fillings in this day and age remains unbelievable. It is unknown if President Barack Obama will address these issues.