Karma reasons for concrete message



    Global Moderator

    Posts: 4377
  • Darwins +208/-6

Here is where I saw the information regarding thimerosal, all the other information appears accurate so I accepted to thimerosal stuff.
The flu vaccine contains mercury from thimerosal, a preservative added to prevent bacterial contamination. Mercury is toxic to the brain, nerve cells, arterial linings and has been linked to an increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, memory loss, depression, anxiety, ADD, heart disease, hypertension and birth defects.


Again:  Thimerosal is a molecule that has an atom of mercury as a constitutive element.  It is therefore not really proper to say that the vaccine "contains mercury".  You cannot treat a molecule with an atom of mercury in its structure the same as elemental mercury, which is what the quote you give above is trying to do.

This is basic chemistry.  You cannot assume that a molecule will have the same properties as the atoms from which it is composed -- in fact, quite the contrary, that's almost never the case.  Perfect example: Hydrogen and oxygen are both gasses at room temperature and remain gasses unless cooled to extremely low temperatures.  However, if you combine two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, they turn into another substance that is liquid at room temperature.

Also again: when thimerosal is metabolized by the body, the mercury it creates is ethylmercury, which does not bioaccumulate (the body excretes it).  Finally, even if the mercury in the flu vaccine did bioaccumulate, the amount of thimerosal in the flu vaccine is so small that being concerned about it is simply silly.  A typical flu shot contains approximately 25 micrograms of mercury.  The FDA's recommended daily limit on the intake of mercury is 0.4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight.  For a 150-pound adult, this equates to 27 micrograms of mercury, meaning that the amount of mercury in the flu vaccine is under the FDA's recommended limit for most adults.  And even if you happen to be a small woman (or a pre-teen, or whatever), and the flu shot does put you over the limit, you can compensate by staying away from fish for a few days.  Finally, if you're still worried about it after all that, there are also flu shots that are thimerosal-free, and all you have to do is ask for one.

Frankly, I think all the attention that some people pay to the mercury in the flu shot is pretty ridiculous.  Healthwise, most people should be worrying about things that are much more pressing, such as the amount of sodium and fat they're getting every single day, instead of the amount of mercury they're getting in their flu shot, which you get only once a year.
Changed Change Reason Date