SV40: A Tragic But True Tale

SV40: What is it?

Simian Virus 40 (SV40) is a polyomavirus that infects both monkeys and humans. In monkeys, infection is generally asymptomatic or subclinical. However, during co-infection with Simian-Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), SV40 acts similarly to human polyomaviruses, JC & BK virus, causing disease in the kidneys and brain. [1]

SV40: Why does this matter?

In 1960, Sv40 was discovered by Dr. Maurice Hilleman, unfortunately, as an inadvertent contaminant in polio vaccines [2]. During the same time period, Dr. Bernice Eddy learned SV40 had the potential to induce tumor formation in hamsters inoculated with the virus [3].By the time screening was readily available in 1963, over 100+ million vaccine doses had been given [4]. Still, recent studies show that many non-typeable (at the time) strains of SV40 persisted past the 14-day screening period, potentially infecting many more people [5]. Obviously, concern about Sv40 & cancer in humans grew. Initial studies found an association with many cancers, including NHL, mesothelioma, bone, brain, and prostate cancers [6][7][8][33]. However, larger epidemiological studies have shown, in most circumstances, that no overall association with cancers exists [9][10]. Yet, this may be confounded by geographical/manufacturing differences [32]. Also, it should be noted that some authors have stated conflicts of interest. Such as Shah, et al – whose acknowledgment in one study reads: “The author has served as a consultant to pharmaceutical companies and has been compensated for his time” [9].Without a doubt, the pharmaceutical industry has a vetted interest in showing that Sv40 doesn’t cause cancer (for obvious reasons). Take some time to look at the wealth of information out there and make your own conclusion. I merely picked a few studies to show how convoluted and contentious this topic is [34].

Dr. Maurice Hilleman makes some damning remarks during this uncensored interview, in the video below. Take a look for yourself. One thing of note, is how Dr. Hilleman mentions that there are 40+ other simian viruses in the original seed stocks! (i.e. SV40 was the 40th simian virus found). This could confound the results of studies above, so I thought it was worth mentioning. Finally, isn’t it crazy that all of these viruses were combined unintentionally in-vivo; what are the repercussions today and what kind of viruses where produced as a result of antigenic shifts?

“The interview was conducted by Dr. Edward Shorter, Professor of the History of Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. I checked the authenticity of the tape with Dr. Shorter who informed me that he did it when preparing a PBS series called “The Health Century.” Doubleday published a companion volume of the same title in 1987.”[35][36][37]

SV40: How did this happen?

SV40 is a ubiquitous virus found in various monkey species. During the production of polio vaccines, monkey kidney cells were used as the medium for poliovirus production. As a result, both the Salk and Sabin vaccines were tainted. Moreover, the formaldehyde used to kill poliovirus was ineffective against SV40. From 1955 onwards, polio vaccines were distributed throughout the world [11][12].

It’s also important to recognize that the production of viral seed stocks went through many passages of differing media. For example, the Sabin Poliovirus Serotype 3 was cultured through approximately 20 rhesus monkeys, 8 testicular tissue cultures, and 34 monkey kidney tissue cultures before finally arriving at Merck, Sharp, & Dohme in 1956 [23][24].


“Understanding Viruses” by Teri Shors

SV40: Whats going on now?

Unfortunately for us, many old techniques of vaccine production are still used today. For instance, MRC-5 is a human fetal fibroblast cell line first isolated in 1966 and still used in the production of many vaccines today, including MMR, Polio, Hep A, and Varicella [13][14][22]. Therefore, concern that some (un)known viruses are contaminating current vaccines that use the MRC-5 line or others is understandable [29][30][31]. In 2010, this was discovered to be true. Contamination of various vaccines from different manufacturers with Porcine Circovirus-1 (PCV1), Avian Leukosis Virus (ALV), & Simian Retrovirus (SRV) was confirmed by the FDA and an independent lab, though the FDA contends there is no risk to humans associated with these viruses [25][26][27][28]. Of concern, the FDA allows certain levels of detectable DNA, RNA, and endotoxins within vaccines. Worse, this is enforced via “non-binding recommendations” (SERIOUSLY?!) [15][16][17]. Although, the topic of another article, endotoxin levels are vitally important. In fact, its been noted that the differences in adverse reactions due to DTaP vs. DTwP is directly related to the decrease in endotoxins & antigens in the DTaP (acellular pertussis) vaccine [18]. Even so, endotoxin levels vary among vaccines and even individual lots [20]. Without much regulation, vaccine adverse reactions will continue to occur and sporadically [21][38]. This issue needs to be addressed.




[1] Kaliyaperumal, S., and Et Al. “Frequent Infection of Neurons by SV40 Virus in SIV-infected Macaque Monkeys with Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy and Meningoencephalitis.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Dec. 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <;.

[2] Sweet, B. H.; Hilleman, M. R. (November 1960). “ç”. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine105 (2): 420–427.

[3] Eddy BE, Borman GS, Grubbs GE, Young RD (May 1962). “Identification of the oncogenic substance in rhesus monkey kidney cell culture as simian virus 40”. Virology17 (1): 65–75.

[4] Poulin, D. L.; Decaprio, J. A. (2006). “Is There a Role for SV40 in Human Cancer?”. Journal of Clinical Oncology24 (26): 4356–65.

[5] Rizzo, Paola; Di Resta, Ilaria; Powers, Amy; Ratner, Herbert; Carbone, Michele (1999). “Unique Strains of SV40 in Commercial Poliovaccines from 1955 Not Readily Identifiable with Current Testing for SV40 Infection”Cancer Research59 (24): 6103–8.

[6] Gazdar, AF; Butel, JS; Carbone, M (December 2002). “SV40 and human tumours: myth, association or causality?”. Nature reviews. Cancer2 (12): 957–64. doi:10.1038/nrc947PMID 12459734.

[7] Butel, JS, and Et Al. “Association between SV40 and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2003. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <;.

[8] Namiki, K; Goodison, S; Porvasnik, S; Allan, R. W.; Iczkowski, K. A.; Urbanek, C; Reyes, L; Sakamoto, N; Rosser, C. J. (1 September 2009). “Persistent exposure to Mycoplasma induces malignant transformation of human prostate cells”PLoS ONE4 (9): e6872. Bibcode:2009PLoSO…4.6872Ndoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006872PMC 2730529Freely accessiblePMID 19721714

[9] Shah, KV (15 January 2007). “SV40 and human cancer: a review of recent data.”. International Journal of Cancer120 (2): 215–23. doi:10.1002/ijc.22425PMID 17131333.

[10] Carroll-Pankhurst, C; Engels, EA; Strickler, HD; Goedert, JJ; Wagner, J; Mortimer EA Jr. (Nov 2001). “Thirty-five year mortality following receipt of SV40- contaminated polio vaccine during the neonatal period.”Br J Cancer85 (9): 1295–7. doi:10.1054/bjoc.2001.2065PMID 11720463

[11] L. Garcea, Robert, and Et Al. “Robert L. Garcea.” Simian Virus 40 Infection of Humans. Journal of Virology, 01 May 2003. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <;.



























Vaccine Claims Put To Rest


Claim: No studies have been done that compare vaccinated vs unvaccinated children.




Conclusion: False!

I believe 6+ other larger studies agree [19]. One concluding, obviously, that “the lifetime prevalence of diseases preventable by vaccination was markedly higher in unvaccinated than in vaccinated subjects.” [2]


Claim: There are no (long-term) studies on the efficacy of vaccines/vaccination.



Conclusion: False!

Not only are efficacy studies done for vaccines, many use varying primary endpoints. For example, some studies use seroconversion (i.e. antibody formation) as a marker of efficacy. In the HPV trial above, statistically significant risk reduction was the primary endpoint and showed decreased risk of CIN cervical/vaginal/genital lesions as well as decreased risk of genital warts. Thus, it’s clear that tangible effects are created as a result of vaccination (e.g. decreased rates of cervical cancer or CIN [13][14])

Claim: Vaccines cause the disease they claim to be protecting against.




Conclusion: Partly true 

This claim is only true in a single circumstance. That is Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis (VAPP). This is a rare, albeit extremely serious, adverse event of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). The OPV uses a weakened polio virus that replicates well in the GI tract (where primary infection often takes place – thus creating good mucosal immunity) The virus, however, has been shown to mutate and become virulent, creating a subpopulation known as circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV). It’s important to recognize that VAPP is an extremely rare event, with fewer than 760 cases since 2000, while natural polio infection has dropped by nearly 99% and an estimated 13 million cases of polio prevented! [12] Inactivated Polio Vaccine is now used instead [18]. Moreover, vaccines can be made using various methods. For instance, the Hep B vaccine is a subunit vaccine – that is, it only contains antigens – thus it has a zero percent chance of reversion.

Claim: Vaccines cause many chronic diseases/conditions, including but not limited to: MS, atopy, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, epilepsy, hypotonic hyporespontsive episodes, etc.



Conclusion: Mainly False!

The general consensus is that vaccines DO NOT cause any serious, chronic conditions. Someone mentioned a good point to me when I brought up data that supported, for instance, an association between vaccines and macrophages myofasciitis [7][8][20]. This commentator gave me some insight. Some studies have been funded by large, anti-vax organizations, such as the Dwoskin Family Foundation. [16][17][6] Thus, it’s apparent that conflicts of interests exist on both sides of the debate but the overwhelming majority of evidence supports the safety and efficacy of vaccines. However, its important to recognize vaccines DO carry some risks, a majority are relatively minor (i.e. injection site soreness) but some adverse events are more serious, albeit exceedingly rare. For example, a casual relationship between hypotonic hyporespontsive episodes (HHE) & DTP vaccination has been shown. Recent data suggests, however, full-recovery post HHE with no long term sequelae – in addition a decrease in overall incidence has been seen with the switch to acellular pertussis vaccines aka “DTaP” [9]. The flu vaccine and Gillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS) also share a casual relationship. Changes in manufacturing have led to a reduction in GBS with all vaccines. For example, the old rabies vaccine was produced using mammalian tissue and had a strong association with GBS, with a switch to chicken embryo  cultures a dramatic decrease in GBS associated with rabies vaccines was seen. [5]



As i postulate in some of my posts, i think it’s important to continue the study of diseases and all possible etiologies (including vaccines). Only when we are honest with our intentions, try our best to overcome bias, can we really scrutinize data to understand a complete picture. Legitimate inquiry needs to continue in this debate. Although i consider myself a vaccination supporter, i do understand the sentiment of many concerned parents and citizens alike. We are often lied to by the government (MK ultra, tuskegee experiments, etc.) and by corporations (panama papers). So it is understandable that some are skeptical about real and perceived conflicts of interests. This goes both ways, however. Ultimately, this debate is inflammatory because vaccination has implications further reaching than just the individual, Herd immunity is the ideal of why everyone should get vaccinated. Rightly so, for those that are unable to get vaccinated, herd immunity protects everyone, unvaccinated included. This is an ethical dilemma, for the time being, we must respect the law and allow individuals to opt out of vaccinations but work together to seek alternatives that are amenable to both sides (perhaps more research on different adjuvants, instead of a decades old invention. Or using cell-lines/cultures that aren’t “tumorigenic” in vaccines – to be my next topic) 😮




[1] Epoke, J., F. Eko, and Cl Mboto. “Vaccinated versus Unvaccinated Children: How They Fare in First Five Years of Life.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Apr. 1990. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.

[2] Schmitz, Roma, Christina Poethko-Müller, Sabine Reiter, and Martin Schlaud. “Vaccination Status and Health in Children and Adolescents: Findings of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS).” Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. Deutscher Arzte Verlag, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.

[3] Basu, Partha, Dipanwita Banerjee, Priyanka Singh, Chandrani Bhattacharya, and Jaydip Biswas. “Efficacy and Safety of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine for Primary Prevention of Cervical Cancer: A Review of Evidence from Phase III Trials and National Programs.” South Asian Journal of Cancer. Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Oct.-Nov. 2013. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.

[4] Grabenhenrich, Linus B., and Et Al. “Early Determinants of Asthma from Birth to Age 20 Years: A German Birth Cohort Study.” The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.

[5] Haber, P., and Et Al. “Vaccines and Guillain-Barré Syndrome.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2 Jan. 2009. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.


[7] Gherardi, RK, and Et Al. “Macrophagic Myofasciitis Lesions Assess Long-term Persistence of Vaccine-derived Aluminium Hydroxide in Muscle.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Sept. 2001. Web. 06 Nov. 2016. <;.

[8] Kullmann, Dimitri, and Et Al. “Central Nervous System Disease in Patients with Macrophagic Myofasciitis.” Oxford Journal. Brain – A Journal of Neurology, 1 May 2001. Web. 06 Nov. 2016. <;.

[9] Gold, MS. “Hypotonic-hyporesponsive Episodes following Pertussis Vaccination: A Cause for Concern?” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2002. Web. 05 Nov. 2016

[10] WHO. “Information Sheet: Observed Rate of Vaccine Reactions Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus Vaccines.” WHO – Global Vaccine Safety (2014): n. pag. WHO. WHO – Global Vaccine Safety: Essential Medicine and Health Product, 1 May 2014. Web. 4 Nov. 2016. <;.



[13] Ares-Reye, L. “Efficacy and Safety of Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine in Cervical Cancer Prevention: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Dec. 2012. Web. 05 Nov. 2016. <;.

[14] Vincenzo, Rosa De, Carmine Conte, Caterina Ricci, Giovanni Scambia, and Giovanni Capelli. “Long-term Efficacy and Safety of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination.” International Journal of Women’s Health. Dove Medical Press, 3 Dec. 2014. Web. 05 Nov. 2016. <;.
Vincenzo, Rosa De, Carmine Conte, Caterina Ricci, Giovanni Scambia, and Giovanni Capelli. “Long-term Efficacy and Safety of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination.” International Journal of Women’s Health. Dove Medical Press, 3 Dec. 2014. Web. 05 Nov. 2016. <;.

[15] Hartfield, J., and Et Al. “Efficacy of Measles Vaccinee.” NCBI (n.d.): n. pag. NCBI. Child Health Research Unit of the West African Council for Medical Research, 1 Jan. 1963. Web. 5 Nov. 2016. <;.






Infant Mortality Rates: An American Enigma

“The U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than those in most other developed countries, and the gap between the U.S. infant mortality rate and the rates for the countries with the lowest infant mortality appears to be widening.” [1]

imr-us[2] & [3] All rights reserved. See citation below

The burden of a high Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the United States is a perplexing situation. We spend the most per capita on healthcare; have some of the greatest advancements in technology/science/infrastructure, large physician pools, etc. The question remains, why is the IMR so high in the USA compared to other developed nations?

First, lets take a look at what infant mortality is. The general definition is: death of an infant less than 1 year of age. Now the causes of death vary, from birth complications, congenital malformations, drug use during pregnancy, prematurity, etc. All of these factors contribute to infant death. In addition to these identifiable causes, some causes of infant death remain unknown. This is particularly worrisome and impedes our ability to understand why IMRs are so high in the USA. These unknown causes of death are categorized as Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome (SUDS) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-7-51-12-pm[2] All rights reserved. See citation below

Although shrouded in mystery and controversy, SIDS is a valid form of classifying infant death. As a result, SIDS is identifiable and diagnosable, having a consistent clinical/histological/biochemical picture. SIDS is defined as:


[4] All rights reserved. See citation below

Moreover, other clinical/histological/autopsy findings help define SIDS. “For instance, the predictive value of finding thymic petechiae (gross and/or microscopic examination) would be 95.5% predictive of SIDS.” Additionally, fluid-filled lungs, brain edema, liquid blood, empty bladder, fatty liver, and focal granule cell bilamination to name a few, are seen in SIDS [5][6][7]. Patients often present with bleeding/foaming/mucus from the mouth/ears, hypoxic changes (e.g. perioral cyanosis), and no signs of trauma. [8].


[21] All rights reserved. See Citation Below.

Of course, with hypoxic changes one would suspect apnea/asphyxiation/suffocation to be the underlying cause of death in SIDS. One of the leading theories is failure of auto-resuscitation during sleep [9].sids-autores-copy[9] All rights reserved. See citation below.

As a result of this theory, safe sleep recommendations were made from 1992 onwards and saw great success (on paper). Although SIDS rates significantly declined during this time, other causes (known and unknown) increased. For instance, rates of “suffocation in bed” (ICD-9 E913.0) increased at an average annual rate of 11.2% [10]. Moreover, with a recent change from ICD-9 to ICD-10, classification of deaths gets even more complicated and elusive [11]. Thus, when considering overall rates of SIDS and IMR, the slow down-trend has remained fairly consistent overtime (slow down-trend).

“As mentioned above, mechanisms culminating in asphyxia cannot provide the answer to SIDS because the findings in asphyxial death fly in the face of pathological evidence; especially in regard to the number and distribution of petechiae, not to mention organ weight information.” [5]  A significant point is made in the statement above, that the physical findings (on autopsy) are discordant with asphyxial death. Brain swelling/edema is inconsistent with acute hypoxia (excluding HACE, of course). Moreover, “Liquid (unclotted) blood within the chambers of the heart, and increased cross-linked fibrin degradation products (seen in toxaemia/sepsis)” [5] lends support to the idea that SIDS has a cause other than asphyxia (infection/autoimmunity). The most alarming pathological finding in SIDS is focal granule cell bilamination (GCB) in the dentate gyrus. “Dentate lesions in a large subset of infants with sudden unexplained death may represent a developmental vulnerability that leads to autonomic/respiratory instability or autonomic seizures, and sleep-related death when the infants are challenged with homeostatic stressors.” [12]. Essentially, these brain lesions (congenital or acquired is uncertain) lead to vulnerabilities in respiratory drive. Troubled with acute stressors, this drive may stop and lead to death. GCB is also seen in temporal lobe epilepsy. [13]

After much scrutiny, it appears that SIDS is named justly so. It is a syndrome, consisting of genetic, environmental, toxic, and social factors. SIDS is central to the IMR question for this reason; it mirrors the gap between the USA and other countries; our SIDS and IMR burdens remain high. One theme that’s never late to the party, vaccination dangers/pros. Why? Well, the USA has one of the highest numbers of vaccines recommended before age 12 months. Are the abnormally high SIDS/IMRs and the  high number of vaccines given during the 1st year of life, correlated? “Linear regression analysis of unweighted mean IMRs showed a high statistically significant correlation between increasing number of vaccine doses and increasing infant mortality, with r = 0.992 (p = 0.0009).” [14] Essentially, at a certain dose/level, increasing the number of vaccinations increases infant mortality! I believe this to be one part of the problem. Aluminum, thimerosal, and ingredients alike tax the body. With genetic predisposition (GCB), environmental toxins (liquid blood – toxemia/infection), and chemical toxins (vaccine ingredients, foods, etc.) particularly vulnerable infants unfortunately succumb.

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[18][19][20][21] All rights reserved. See citation below. Prevnar 13, Pentacel, Tripedia vaccine monographs (“package insert”)

Now that the problem/cause has been identified, we must figure out what actions can be done to protect, reduce, and help fight SIDS. Obviously, in the USA (and other nations) we face many social/societal issues. From homelessness to poverty and substance abuse, these stressors affect everyone, especially pregnant women. We must ensure women have access to basic human and medical needs to bring healthy infants to term. Moreover, we must recognize that certain things aren’t always as they appear. It’s imperative to do your own research. What am I referencing here is vaccines, of course. In my view, vaccines are great, work great, and are a great thing for humans. However, greedy people and corporations have undermined vaccine research/manufacturing/production. We must demand safe products. Oddly enough, some research shows vaccines protect against SIDS, this seemingly contradictory data must be scrutinized, not because it’s wrong, but because it tells us that we still understand little about immunizations, immunity, and the many intricacies that occur in vivo vs. in vitro. Moreover, the genetic component of SIDS remains to be elucidated. Fatty liver change (and known oxidative stress during vaccination) points to inherited mitochondrial disease/fatty acid beta-oxidation deficiencies. [16] Moreover, its been postulated that certain deficiencies (magnesium) may play a role in SIDS pathogenesis. [17] Vitamin C may also play a crucial role. Vaccination has been shown to increase Vitamin C utilization. As such, supplementation has been hypothesized to mitigate adverse reactions to vaccines. [21] All in all, SIDS may be an unavoidable syndrome, however, certain risk factors are modifiable, meaning we can change them (i.e. like not smoking during pregnancy, or around pregnant women – 2nd hand smoke). Ultimately, we must collectively work to reduce SIDS by decreasing our modifiable risk factors.







[4] Weber, Martin. Et Al. “Post-mortem investigation of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy: Role of autopsy in classification of death.” Forensic Pathology Reviews. DOI 10.1007/978-1-61779-249-6_2 (2011)



















[?] – ICD codes

[?] – curlin protein

[?] – curlin protein

Thimerosal in Vaccines: A Modern Mumpsimus


Thimerosal, ethylmercurithiosalicylic acid, is one of the most widely used preservatives in vaccines. Patented in 1928, thimerosal finds use as an effective antiseptic compound. [1]

Although it seems that controversy about thimerosal use in vaccines is a recent phenomena, an insider memo at Merck & Co shows concern among top scientists in the field as early as 1991. [2] The main point of contention is whether doses of thimerosal, a known neurotoxin, given in routine vaccinations are sufficient enough to cause toxicity. From 1999 onwards, the CDC and FDA contend that no convincing evidence exists that links thimerosal to autism or other major toxicities in the amounts given during routine vaccination; still it was recommended that thimerosal use in childhood vaccinations be phased out. [3] Today, thimerosal is still found in some vaccines, such as fluzone® (Sanofi™ flu shot). The 1991 confidential memo mentioned earlier was leaked by the LA times in 2005. Interestingly, in the memo, Dr. Hilleman, a renowned scientist, addressed the concern of dosage guidelines and safety. An except below reads:


[4] All rights reserved to the LA Times, Et Al. Constitutes Fair Use Policy.

This highlights an interesting component of the debate that requires a background in science to fully elucidate. Its important for us to establish what thimerosal is chemically, how it relates to other mercury compounds, and finally what its safety and efficacy profile is.

Thimerosal is metabolized to ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. Ethylmercury has a long half-life of 18 days. It may be further metabolized to inorganic mercury and other metabolites. [1] Early concerns were based on the idea that methylmercury and ethylmercury shared a similar pharmacodynamic/pharmacokinetic and toxicology profile. Recent studies show this to be unfounded. “The data showing significant kinetic differences in tissue distribution and metabolism of mercury species challenge the assumption that ethyl mercury is toxicologically identical to methyl mercury.”[5] Furthermore, “Ethylmercury seems to be eliminated from blood rapidly via the stools after parenteral administration of thiomersal in vaccines.” [6] Thus, it seems evident that thimerosal and its metabolites differ significantly from other mercury compounds and do not share identical safety profiles.


[7] All rights reserved to Constitutes Fair Use Policy.

Make no mistake; thimerosal and ethylmercury have their own set of problems. These molecules work as antimicrobial agents by increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and by inhibiting various enzymes. This causes cell death. It’s important to understand that this mechanism extends to our cells as well. A 2014 study by Carneiro, et al. reads, “Interestingly, after 0.5 h of TM exposure, the highest levels of both etHg and inoHg were found in kidneys (accounting for more than 70% of the total Hg in the animal body), whereas the brain contributed least to the Hg body burden (accounts for <1.0% of total body Hg).” [8] Surprisingly, it seems that the burden of toxicity lies not in the brain, as originally feared by some, but in the kidneys! A more recent study agrees, “Exposure to Hg0 vapor and MeHg produce symptoms in CNS, whereas, the kidney is the target organ when exposures to the mono- and di-valent salts of mercury (Hg+ and Hg++, respectively) occur.” [9] It states further that chronic exposure to inorganic mercury produces symptoms of stomatitis, erethism, and tremors. Moreover, recent articles linking thimerosal and autism have surfaced, this time with clout. “Evidence suggests that thimerosal induces apoptosis through a mitochondrial pathway and that it is toxic to the mitochondria, reducing mitochondrial respiration and inducing mitochondrial DNA damage and superoxide production… Our data suggest that the abnormal mitochondrial function and increased susceptibility to ethylmercury in the autistic disorder group [sic] may be related to impaired glutathione-mediated antioxidant capacity and chronic oxidative stress, since NAC pretreatment, which could improve glutathione status, appears to partially correct the atypical mitochondrial function in the autistic disorder group [sic] and protect the cells against the toxic effects of ethylmercury.” [10]


[12] All rights reserved. Constitutes Fair use policy

In medicine, it is said that dosage is everything. This fact is vitally important for thimerosal exposure. For anyone with an impaired immunity or metabolism, suffering from any serious/chronic disease – such as Autistic Disorder with mitochondrial dysfunction, it seems thimerosal can exacerbate your condition. For the average adult person, it appears that “autophagy might play a dual role in EtHg-induced renal toxicity, being both protective following treatment with low doses of EtHg and detrimental following treatment with high doses.”[11] Notwithstanding, our bodies are able to cope with thimerosal quite well. However, the fact that it puts any strain on our body, young or old, healthy or disabled, is rather concerning.

Despite the very real concerns about thimerosal, it’s important to recognize the need, the potential, and the success of vaccines. From Jenner to Salk, pioneering is what’s needed for future success. It’s as simple as this; the champions that are vaccines have an outdated and potentially fatal flaw, thimerosal and compounds alike. More clinical data with better efficacy and safety, transparency, accountability and accessibility on the part of vaccine manufactures/developers needs to come to fruition. I call for an outright ban on thimerosal, as seen in other countries, to be put into effect immediately. Only when we are firm in our decision, albeit backed with proper evidence and a broad prospective, can we make actual change.





[1] Egan, William M., PhD. “Thimerosal in Vaccines.” Office of Vaccines Research and Review, 14 Sept. 1999. Web.

[2] Yazbak, F. Edward, Dr. “The Mercury Memo.” Home Page. Vaccination News Org, n/a. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.

[3] MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1999 Nov 5;48(43):996-8.

[4] Levin, Myron. “’91 Memo Warned of Mercury in Shots.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 08 Feb. 2005. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.

[5] Zareba, G. “Thimerosal Distribution and Metabolism in Neonatal Mice: Comparison with Methyl Mercury.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept.-Oct. 2007. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.

[6] National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database; CID=16684434, (accessed Oct. 14, 2016).

[7] FDA. “Fluzone Monograph.” (n.d.): n. pag. FDA, 01 May 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.

[8] Carniero, Maria F.H., Et Al. “A Systematic Study of the Disposition and Metabolism of Mercury Species in Mice after Exposure to Low Levels of Thimerosal (ethylmercury) ☆.” A Systematic Study of the Disposition and Metabolism of Mercury Species in Mice after Exposure to Low Levels of Thimerosal (ethylmercury). Environmental Research – Elsevier, 1 Oct. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.

[9] Carcocci, A., Et Al. “Mercury Toxicity and Neurodegenerative Effects.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.

[10] Rose, Shannon, Rebecca Wynne, Richard E. Frye, Stepan Melnyk, and S. Jill James. “Increased Susceptibility to Ethylmercury-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction in a Subset of Autism Lymphoblastoid Cell Lines.” Journal of Toxicology. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 21 Jan. 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.

[11] Choi*, Ji-Yoon, Nam-Hee Won†, Jung-Duck Park‡, Sinae Jang§, Chi-Yong Eom§, Yongseok Choi*, and Young In Park¶1 And. “Ethylmercury-Induced Oxidative and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Mediated Autophagic Cell Death: Involvement of Autophagosome–Lysosome Fusion Arrest.” Oxford Journal. Toxicological Sciences, 10 Aug. 2016. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.

[12] Barregard, Lars, Et Al. “Toxicokinetics of Mercury after Long-Term Repeated Exposure to Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine.” Toxicological Sciences (2011): 499-506. Print.

[unnumbered] Burbacher, Thomas M., Danny D. Shen, Noelle Liberato, Kimberly S. Grant, Elsa Cernichiari, and Thomas Clarkson. “Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal.” Environmental Health Perspectives. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 1 Aug. 2005. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.