Article

Neonate exposure to thimerosal mercury from hepatitis B vaccines.

Universidade de Brasília, DF, Brazil.
American Journal of Perinatology (Impact Factor: 1.6). 04/2009; 26(7):523-7. DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1215431
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Infant exposure to ethylmercury (EtHg) has not only increased but is starting earlier as a result of the current immunization schedule that uses thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs). Although vaccination schedule varies considerably between countries, infants in less-developed countries continue to be exposed to EtHg derived from more affordable TCVs. We studied the exposure of newborns to EtHg from hepatitis B vaccines; hospital records (21,685) were summarized for the years 2001 to 2005 regarding date of birth, vaccination date, and birth weight. Most of the vaccinations occurred in the first 24 hours postdelivery; over the 5 years, there was an increase in vaccinations within hours of birth (same day), from 7.4% (2001) to 87.8% (2005). Nearly 94.6% of infants are now being vaccinated within the first 24 hours. Range of mercury exposure spread from 4.2 to 21.1 microg mercury/kg body weight for those receiving TCVs with the highest thimerosal concentration; these exposure levels are conservative for 2% of children receiving vaccines within 2 to 3 postnatal days, when they are still going through physiological postnatal weight loss. Because of the particular timing (transitioning from in utero to ex utero metabolism) and specific aspects of exposure (i.e., parenteral mode, bypassing gastroenteric barriers) and dose (related to vaccine manufacturer and with variation in birth weight), this study reveals critical issues that can modulate toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of organomercurials in neonates.

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Available from: Rejane Marques, May 05, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Currently, ethylmercury (EtHg) and adjuvant-Al are the dominating interventional exposures encountered by fetuses, newborns, and infants due to immunization with Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs). Despite their long use as active agents of medicines and fungicides, the safety levels of these substances have never been determined, either for animals or for adult humans-much less for fetuses, newborns, infants, and children. I reviewed the literature for papers reporting on outcomes associated with (a) multiple exposures and metabolism of EtHg and Al during early life; (b) physiological and metabolic characteristics of newborns, neonates, and infants relevant to xenobiotic exposure and effects; (c) neurobehavioral, immunological, and inflammatory reactions to Thimerosal and Al-adjuvants resulting from TCV exposure in infancy. Immunological and neurobehavioral effects of Thimerosal-EtHg and Al-adjuvants are not extraordinary; rather, these effects are easily detected in high and low income countries, with co-exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) or other neurotoxicants. Rigorous and replicable studies (in different animal species) have shown evidence of EtHg and Al toxicities. More research attention has been given to EtHg and findings have showed a solid link with neurotoxic effects in humans; however, the potential synergic effect of both toxic agents has not been properly studied. Therefore, early life exposure to both EtHg and Al deserves due consideration.
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