Heavy metal poisoning and vaccines: what is the truth?

Even though the Wakefield study (the only study to draw a connection between vaccines and autism) has been proven to be a fraud and there are 41 studies proving vaccines do not cause autism, many still believe vaccines cause neurological harm. I read on one site where a mother of a premature baby still didn’t believe in vaccination because of “heavy metal poisoning. I see that term a lot, “heavy metal poisoning”, so I thought it worthy of some investigation.

According to the IUPAC (The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) the term “heavy metals” is meaningless. There is actually no standard definition of “heavy metals”. While it is often a term used to describe metals and semimetals (metalloids – a substance that has the physical appearance and properties of metal but in a lab acts nothing like metal) that have been associated with potentially hazardous toxicity to humans or the environment, the term is used inconsistently in scientific and government literature, and of course by the public.

Various inorganic chemists have tried to classify metals as “heavy metals” based on density, atomic mass, atomic number, and chemical properties, and none have found definitions suitable for the scientific community (note that none of the proposed definitions mention anything about toxicity). The IUPAC says that the term “heavy metal” is meaningless and should be abandoned. So, by default “heavy metal” poisoning is impossible.

Some vaccines do contain aluminum: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, haemophilus, HPV, and pneumococcus. Aluminum is an adjuvant (helps to stimulate the immune response). Aluminum is found in almost every animal and plant (it is in the soil, so is absorbed into plants). There is less aluminum in all the vaccines given in the first 6 months of life (4 mg) than in the breast milk that same baby would drink in those same 6 months (10 mg). To put it in perspective, one tsp. of Maalox has 200 mg aluminum. Aluminum toxicity can occur, but it takes much higher doses than a tsp. of Maalox. Thimerosal¬†- a mercury-containing preservative is the only other metal in some adult vaccines, but no children’s vaccines (they are packaged differently, so it is easy to tell, thimerosal vaccines are all single dose).

Some scientists have proposed a new definition of metals based on their biochemical basis for toxicity (using something called Lewis acid properties). Basically, this means metals that are most likely to damage cell membranes (which makes a lot of sense to me!).  There are three groupings in this new system: Class A, Class B, and Borderline or Intermediate. Class A metals are are not likely to harm cell membranes (Class B and Borderline are likely to cause harmful membrane structural changes). Aluminum is a Class A metal.

And for those who use Wikipedia? The page on “Heavy metal” (chemistry) contains multiple inaccuracies compared to what the IUPAC proposes, so I’ll have to go with the international body made up of people with PhDs in inorganic chemistry as oppossed to some unknown author with unknown interests/bias. Wiki does say that the IUPAC calls the term a “misinterpretation,” but still goes on to list many types of “heavy metals” and how they are toxic. If I were writing the Wikipedia page, it would look something like this:

Heavy metal (chemistry) – an older term first used as a non-chemical definition before 1936 to describe guns or shots of great size or great ability. Since 1936 scientists have attempted to categorize metals as “heavy” based on density, atomic weight, atomic number, and other chemical properties but to no avail. The term “heavy metal” has never been defined by any authoritative chemistry body such as the IUPAC and no relationship can be found between density (specific gravity) and any of the physiochemical concepts that have been used to define “heavy metals” and the toxicity or ecotoxicity attributed to “heavy metals.”

Can vaccines cause “heavy metal” poisoning? As there is no such thing as a “heavy metal,” the answer is a resounding no.

Can vaccines cause aluminum toxicity? No, the doses are orders of magnitude too low.

Is aluminum in low concentrations safe? Yes, it is unlikely to damage cell membranes and every plant we eat contains it.

Any website that uses the term “heavy metal” toxicity or poisoning is guilty of shoddy research, woo-mongering, or both.

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7 Responses to Heavy metal poisoning and vaccines: what is the truth?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Heavy metal poisoning and vaccines: what is the truth? | The Preemie Primer Guide from Dr. Jen Gunter -- Topsy.com

  2. Leart Shaka says:

    Hi Dr. Gunter,

    I was searching your website for contact info, as I needed to ask for your help spreading the word about my new pro-health, educational publication The Vaccine Times, but couldn’t find any. Please check out the website and the publication itself and if you find it worth mentioning on your blog or Twitter please contact me at vaccinetimes@gmail.com so we could discuss.

    Thank you.

  3. Pingback: In the Wakefield | 538 Refugees

  4. e. says:

    Thimerosal is still in the annual flu vaccine.

  5. kellie bischof says:

    You’ve failed to mention that metals tend to be cumulative, and generally all metals can affect different individuals in different ways. For example, lead exposure will not show obvious harm in all children. This does not make lead exposure safe. Also, metals in our environment can be problematic in certain susceptible individuals. It is naive to think that a dangerous substance is fine in very small amounts, when the research on vaccine ingredients is severely lacking and vaccines are given at such a developmentally fragile time. In addition, there have been multiple studies demonstrating a link between vaccines and neurological issues, as well as documented, confirmed reports of vaccine injury. The window of unknown is too wide since VAERS, our primary method of determining vaccine safety, is highly flawed and under-reported due to its passive nature. The CDC has admitted that vaccine adverse events may be under-reported by as much as 90%. If a parent chooses to accept the risks despite the obvious flaws in the vaccine program, that is his or her prerogative. I, however, choose to keep my children vaccine-free…after thoroughly researching the diseases and vaccines for years following my daughter’s neuorological reaction to the second set of infant shots. She is still recovering seven years later and has been found through toxocology reports to be highly toxic in several metals. You can’t tell me there’s no such thing as heavy metal toxicity, because I deal with it every day of my life, and unfortunately my child does too.

  6. PrissymissChrissy says:

    Agreeing with Kelly. Same story here for my daughter. Chelation WORKS. It is the only thing after nearly five years of trying many different things that IS working. And no one can say that her gains are placebo because she has had many physical bodily symptoms heal also – her poor muscle tone is healing (she was still riding in strollers at five when I began biomedically treating her because she would tire so easily), a few weeks ago she spent nine hours walking around the zoo and not one meltdown. She could also never tan before chelation, she now can. Her constant candida infections and food intolerances are clearing up also. Her bedwetting is gone. Even her mainstream pediatrician (who rarely sees my children because they are very healthy due to the so-called “woo treatments” admits that my daughter has gotten remarkably better, says her skin tone is even pinker than a few years ago. These susceptible children ARE real; the medical community has just closed their minds and hearts to them.

  7. Heidi Bray says:

    This is another case of *blowing smoke up our asses* as you people in the medical field so kindly did to us years ago for drowning vicitms becaue YOU thought it helped! The entire world is crying out that youre making us sick with your misinformation and you casual manipulations to certain terms YET you still write us all off as stupid, and ignorant! Listen IT CANT BE EVERYONE ELSE! Our children and family members are being poisoned PERIOD! Just because on is tolerant to something does NOT mean another is! I had my daughter tested 2 days after her last round of vaccinations and there was enough lead AND aluminum detected in her system that we started the process of treating her for it! I REFUSE to vaccinate her further because of it! By the way there are NO lead based products in this house so it came from the vaccines. This is nothing but a desperate attempt by using a political tactic to shut people like me up and blind others into support the pharmaceutical companies financially! You people are glorified drug pucshers and NEED to be stopped! NUFF SAID!

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