Mercury in Medicines
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—Extensions of Remarks 2003 FINDINGS
Through this investigation of pediatric vaccine safety, the following findings are made:
1. Mercury is hazardous to humans. Its use in medicinal products is undesirable, unnecessary
and should be minimized or eliminated entirely.
2. For decades, ethylmercury was used extensively in medical products ranging from vaccines to topical ointments as preservative and an anti-bacteriological agent.
3. Manufacturers of vaccines and thimerosal, (an ethylmercury compound used in vaccines), have never conducted adequate testing on the safety of thimerosal. The FDA has never required manufacturers to conduct
adequate safety testing on thimerosal and ethylmercury compounds.
4. Studies and papers documenting the hyperallergenicity and toxicity of thimerosal (ethylmercury) have existed for decades.
5. Autism in the United States has grown at epidemic proportions during the last decade. By some estimates the number of autistic children in the United States is growing between 10 and 17 percent per year. The medical community has been unable to determine the underlying cause(s) of this explosive growth.
6. At the same time that the incidence of autism was growing, the number of childhood vaccines containing thimerosal was growing, increasing the amount of ethylmercury to which infants were exposed threefold.
7. A growing number of scientists and researchers believe that a relationship between the increase in neurodevelopmental disorders of autism, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, and speech or language
delay, and the increased use of thimerosal in vaccines is plausible and deserves more scrutiny.
In 2001, the Institute of Medicine determined that such a relationship is biologically plausible, but that not enough evidence exists to support or reject this hypothesis.
8. The FDA acted too slowly to remove ethylmercury from over-the-counter products like topical ointments and skin creams. Although an advisory committee determined that ethylmercury was unsafe in these products
in 1980, a rule requiring its removal was not finalized until 1998.
9. The FDA and the CDC failed in their duty to be vigilant as new vaccines containing thimerosal were approved and added to the immunization schedule. When the Hepatitis B and Haemophilus Influenzae Type b vaccines were added to the recommended schedule of childhood immunizations, the cumulative amount of
ethylmercury to which children were exposed nearly tripled.
10. The amount of ethylmercury to which children were exposed through vaccines prior to the 1999 announcement exceeded two safety thresholds established by the Federal government for a closely related substance—methylmercury. While the Federal Government has established no safety threshold for
ethylmercury, experts agree that the methylmercury guidelines are a good substitute. Federal health officials have conceded that the amount of thimerosal in vaccines exceeded the EPA threshold of 0.1 micrograms per kilogram of bodyweight. In fact, the amount of mercury in one dose of DTaP or Hepatitis B vaccines (25 micrograms each) exceeded this threshold many times over. Federal health officials have not conceded
that this amount of thimerosal in vaccines exceeded the FDA’s more relaxed threshold of 0.4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. In most cases, however, it clearly did.
11. The actions taken by the HHS to remove thimerosal from vaccines in 1999 were not sufficiently aggressive. As a result, thimerosal remained in some vaccines for an additional two years.
12. The CDC’s failure to state a preference for thimerosal-free vaccines in 2000 and again in 2001 was an abdication of their responsibility. As a result, many children received vaccines containing thimerosal when thimerosal-free alternatives were available.
13. The Influenza vaccine appears to be the sole remaining vaccine given to children in the United States on a regular basis that contains thimerosal. Two formulations recommended for children six months of age or
older continue to contain trace amounts of thimerosal. Thimerosal should be removed from these vaccines. No amount of mercury is appropriate in any childhood vaccine.
14. The CDC in general and the National Immunization Program in particular are conflicted in their duties to monitor the safety of vaccines, while also charged with the responsibility of purchasing vaccines for
resale as well as promoting increased immunization rates.
15. There is inadequate research regarding ethylmercury neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.
16. There is inadequate research regarding the relationship between autism and the use of mercury-containing vaccines.
17. To date, studies conducted or funded by the CDC that purportedly dispute any correlation between autism and vaccine injury have been of poor design, under-powered, and fatally flawed. The CDC’s rush to support
and promote such research is reflective of a philosophical conflict in looking fairly at emerging theories and clinical data related to adverse reactions from vaccinations.
SOURCE : CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—Extensions of Remarks 2003
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