109Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 21 Number 4 Winter 2016
Aluminum is a neurotoxin, yet infants and young children
are repeatedly injected with aluminum adjuvants from
multiple vaccines during critical periods of brain development.
Numerous studies provide credible evidence that aluminum
adversely aﬀects important biological functions and may
contribute to neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorders.
It is impossible to predetermine which vaccinated babies
will succumb to aluminum poisoning. Aluminum-free health
options are needed.
From 1999 through 2002, several vaccines containing
mercury were phased out of the childhood immunization
schedule. Manufacturing of childhood vaccines with thimerosal
ceased in 2001, but those that were not past their expiration
date remained on the market for sale until January 2003.1 They
were replaced with low-mercury or “thimerosal-free” vaccines.
In the years that followed, autism rates continued to rise,
prompting health authorities to assert that autism is not linked
to mercury in vaccines and that vaccination policies are safe and
appropriate.2-4 (If mercury in vaccines contributed to autism,
then rates should have dropped after mercury was removed.)
However, in 2002, during this so-called phase-out period, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) actually
added two doses of mercury-containing inﬂuenza vaccines to
the list of inoculations urged for all babies 6 to 23 months of
age.5 Two years later, the CDC also added pregnant women in
their ﬁrst trimester to the list of people oﬃcially recommended
and actively encouraged to receive inﬂuenza vaccines, even
though a majority of available doses contained mercury.6
In addition to these questionable actions during this highly
publicized “phase-out” of mercury, four doses of a new vaccine
with high aluminum content were added to the childhood
immunization schedule in February 2000 (for pneumococcus)
and two doses of another aluminum-containing vaccine (for
hepatitis A) were added in 2005.7,8 These changes to the vaccine
schedule resulted in a substantial increase of aluminum-
containing vaccine doses—from 10 to 16 injections—that
babies are still mandated to receive by 18 months of age.
Prior to the mercury phase-out (pre-2000), babies received
3,925 micrograms (mcg) of aluminum in their ﬁrst year-and-a-
half of life. After pneumococcal and hepatitis A vaccines were
added to the immunization schedule, babies began receiving
4,925 mcg of aluminum during the same age period—a
25% increase (Figure 1).9,10 In 2011, CDC recommended that
pregnant women receive a pertussis vaccine (Tdap), which also
contains aluminum.11 Studies show that aluminum crosses the
placenta and accumulates in fetal tissue.12 Thus, millions of
Aluminum in Childhood Vaccines Is Unsafe
Neil Z. Miller
Figure 1. Aluminum Content from Childhood Vaccines
Vaccines containing aluminum were added to the childhood
immunization schedule when some vaccines containing mercury
were removed. Prior to the mercury phase-out (pre-2000), babies
received 3,925 mcg of aluminum by 18 months of age. After
pneumococcal and hepatitis A vaccines were added to the schedule,
babies began receiving 4,925 mcg of aluminum during the same
age period—a 25% increase.
Source: The vaccine manufacturers’ product inserts and the CDC’s
annual childhood vaccination schedules.
babies in utero, infants, and young children were injected
with, and continue to receive, unnaturally high doses of
neurotoxic substances—mercury and aluminum—long after
unsuspecting parents were led to believe that vaccines were
purified and made safe.
Aluminum adjuvants are added to several vaccines to
elicit a more robust immune response and increase vaccine
efficacy. In the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia,
and many other parts of the world, infants and young
children receive high quantities of aluminum from multiple
inoculations. For example, in the U.S. the hepatitis B, DTaP
(for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), pneumococcal (PCV),
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and hepatitis A vaccines
are all administered during early childhood. Each of these
Vaccines containing aluminum were added to the childhood
immunization schedule when some vaccines containing mercury
were removed. Prior to the mercury phase-out (pre-2000), babies
received 3,925 mcg of aluminum by 18 months of age. After
babiesbegan receiving 4,925 mcgofaluminumduringthesameage
Source:The vaccine manufacturers' product inserts and the CDC’s
annual childhood vaccination schedules.
3925 3925 3925 3925
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2005 2016
110 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 21 Number 4 Winter 2016
Babies are not the only age group exposed to high
quantities of aluminum from vaccines. The HPV vaccine
(indicated for the prevention of cervical cancer and genital
warts associated with some strains of human papillomavirus)
is marketed to pre-teens and adolescents. Each dose in the
three-dose series contains 500 mcg of aluminum. The Tdap
vaccine (for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) is given to
pre-teens as well, and contains 390 mcg of aluminum.13
Several adult vaccines also contain aluminum.
Aluminum is neurotoxic and has a long history of well-
documented hazards.14 For example, as early as 1921 The
Lancet described a 46-year-old metal worker in whom
“aluminium produced a rather slow intoxication. In this
case it caused memory loss, tremor, jerky movements
and incontinence of urine.”15 In 1927, Dr. Victor Vaughn, a
toxicologist with the University of Michigan, testified before
the Federal Trade Commission that “all salts of aluminum are
poisonous when injected subcutaneously or intravenously.”16
By 1951, Chusid et al. showed that chronic epilepsy could be
induced in monkeys through intra-cerebral administration of
aluminum hydroxide cream.17 In 1968, Driver et al. performed
a similar experiment by placing aluminum hydroxide cream
unilaterally on the posterior parietal cortex of six monkeys.18
From 3 to 8 weeks after surgery, electrical abnormalities
could be seen on an electroencephalogram and the monkeys
exhibited “episodic twitching of the limbs and face.” The
animals were also impaired at learning new tasks and at re-
learning tasks first learned prior to the intervention.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP),
“Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a
variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous
system and in other tissues.”1 9 Bishop et al. published data
showing that “aluminum accumulates in the body when
protective gastrointestinal mechanisms are bypassed, renal
function is impaired, and exposure is high.”20 For example,
in premature infants, “prolonged intravenous feeding with
solutions containing aluminum is associated with impaired
neurologic development” by 18 months of age. More
recently, Kawahara et al. published research confirming that
“aluminum can cause severe health problems in particular
populations, including infants.”21 The authors of this paper
also declared that “whilst being environmentally abundant,
aluminum is not essential for life. On the contrary, aluminum
is a widely recognized neurotoxin that inhibits more than
200 biologically important functions and causes various
adverse effects in plants, animals, and humans.”
Neurologic and Autoimmune Disorders
Numerous studies provide compelling evidence that
injected aluminum is detrimental to health. For example,
a recent paper by Tomljenovic and Shaw aﬃrmed that
aluminum is a neurotoxin and may be a co-factor in several
neurodegenerative disorders and diseases, including
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis (ALS), autism, and epilepsy.22 According to the authors,
“The continued use of aluminum adjuvants in various vaccines
for children as well as the general public may be of signiﬁcant
concern. In particular, aluminum presented in this form carries
a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inﬂammation and
associated neurological complications and may thus have
profound and widespread adverse health consequences.”
Figure 2. Cumulative Aluminum Exposure from Recommended
Table 1. Aluminum Exposures in Early Childhood from
vaccines contains aluminum, and multiple doses (booster
shots) are required (Table 1). Babies are injected with 1,225
mcg of aluminum instantaneously at age 2 months, and
4,925 mcg of accumulated aluminum by age 18 months
and the CDC’s 2016 childhood vaccination
Vaccine Aluminum Content Vaccine Schedule
Hep B 250mcgx3doses Birth,2,6months
DTaP 625mcgx4doses 2,4,6,15months
PCV 125mcgx4doses 2,4,6,12months
Hib 225mcgx3doses 2,4,12months
Hep A 250mcgx2doses 12,18months
Source: The vaccine manufacturers’ product inserts and the CDC’s 2016
childhood vaccination schedule.
Source: The vaccine manufacturers’ product inserts and the CDC’s 2016
childhood vaccination schedule.
months of age and 4,925 mcg of accumulated aluminum by 18
Source: The vaccine manufacturers’ product inserts and the
CDC’s 2016 childhood vaccination schedule.
0 500 1000 1500
Recent data by Perricone et al. showed that aluminum
adjuvants in vaccines have been linked to multiple sclerosis,
systemic lupus erythematosus, chronic fatigue syndrome,
Gulf War syndrome, macrophagic myofasciitis, arthritis, and
autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants
(ASIA syndrome), an autoimmune disease with neurological
and cognitive manifestations.23 Clinical symptoms associated
with vaccine-induced autoimmunity can take months or
years to manifest, much longer than the time intervals
utilized in most vaccine safety studies.
Although aluminum is a neurotoxin, pre-school
children are repeatedly injected with aluminum adjuvants
from multiple vaccines during critical periods of brain
development. A recent paper published in the journal
Lupus found that this may lead to neuro-developmental
and autoimmune disorders.24 During early development, the
child’s blood-brain barrier is more permeable to toxins, and
the kidneys are less able to eliminate them. Thus, children
have a greater risk than adults of adverse reactions to
aluminum adjuvants in vaccines. The authors of this paper
issued the following warning: “Because children may be
most at risk of vaccine-induced complications, a rigorous
evaluation of the vaccine-related adverse health impacts in
the pediatric population is urgently needed.”
Macrophagic Myofasciitis (MMF)
Some people develop macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF)
after receiving an aluminum-containing vaccine.25 -39 MMF
is characterized by an aluminum-filled lesion (wound) at
the site of an earlier vaccination. MMF lesions occur when
the aluminum adjuvant from a vaccine remains embedded
in the muscle tissue and causes a continuous immune
reaction. The lesions are persistent, long-term granulomas
(or inflammatory tumors) found in the quadriceps in children
and deltoid muscles of adults, common vaccination sites.
Several vaccines contain aluminum hydroxide, which has
been identified as the causal factor of MMF lesions.25
Although MMF is associated with a macrophagic lesion
at the site of vaccination, it is a systemic ailment. Symptoms
include chronic fatigue, chronic diffuse myalgia (muscle
weakness), arthralgia (joint pain), and disabling headaches.
Aluminum’s toxic effects can also manifest as impaired
psychomotor control, repetitive behavior, speech disorders,
sleep disturbances, seizures, confusion, and anxiety, as
well as deficits of concentration, learning, and memory.
Nearly 20% of patients with MMF develop an autoimmune
disease, including neuromuscular and multiple sclerosis-like
Several descriptive studies document MMF in pediatric
populations. For example, Spanish scientists presented data
on seven children younger than 3 years of age with lesions of
macrophages on muscle biopsies at the site of vaccination.29
In three of four cases tested, elevated levels of aluminum in
muscle were detected (indicative of a reaction to aluminum
Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 21 Number 4 Winter 2016
adjuvants in vaccines). All of the children developed
hypotonia (a lack of normal muscle tone) and motor or
psychomotor delay. Six of the children also had abnormal
neuro-imaging, associated with neurological anomalies,
including atrophy and abnormal myelination.
In the U.S., Gruis et al. evaluated four cases of MMF in
young children with hypotonia, motor delay and failure to
thrive, likely due to intramuscular injections of aluminum-
containing vaccines.30 Another team of American physicians
evaluated MMF in two fully vaccinated children. Both
showed typical aluminum-filled macrophages at muscle
biopsies.31 One child had abnormal pupillary reflexes and
urinary retention suggesting dysautonomia while the other
child had developmental delay and hypotonia.
Israeli researchers documented MMF in six Arab
children.32 Reactions included hypotonia, seizures, motor
delay, and developmental delay. The authors of this paper
believe that genetic predisposition is a factor in determining
the prevalence of MMF in different populations.
German researchers documented MMF in a 3-month-
old East Indian child following his hepatitis B vaccine at
birth, “after which he developed generalized hypotonia,
and central nervous system and peripheral nervous system
manifestations at one month of age.”33 The child also had
respiratory failure, decreased spontaneous movements,
apnea spells, and generalized seizures. Aluminum was
detected in the muscle biopsy macrophages. The authors
recommend that “after vaccination, children should be
closely followed to detect these complications at early
Italian researchers believe that MMF in children “is
probably more common than reported. Diagnosis requires
a high index of suspicion and can be missed if biopsy
is performed outside the vaccination site.”34 According
to Canadian MMF researchers, “aluminum has been
demonstrated to impact the central nervous system at
every level, including by changing gene expression. These
outcomes should raise concerns about the increasing use of
aluminum salts as vaccine adjuvants.” Moreover, “based on
the current and emerging literature, it seems unlikely that in
the future aluminum will be considered safe for human use
in any of the current medicinal applications.”28
A recent paper by Luján et al. found that sheep developed
a new type of autoimmune and inflammatory disorder—
ovine autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by
adjuvants (ASIA)—after receiving vaccines containing
aluminum adjuvants.40 The condition appears in some
sheep two to six days after they are vaccinated. Symptoms
of the acute phase include poor response to external stimuli
and acute meningoencephalitis. The chronic phase causes
muscular atrophy, neurodegeneration of the gray matter of
the spinal cord, and death.
112 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 21 Number 4 Winter 2016
Khan et al. conducted several mouse experiments to
determine the long-term biological distribution of vaccine-
related aluminum nanoparticles.41 They discovered that
aluminum travels from the injection site to distant organs
such as the spleen and brain, where aluminum deposits
could still be detected one year later. Aluminum remains
in monocyte-lineage cells long after vaccination and may
cause neurologic and autoimmune disorders. According to
these scientists, “Alum has high neurotoxic potential, and
administration of continuously escalating doses of this
poorly biodegradable adjuvant in the population should
be carefully evaluated by regulatory agencies since the
compound may be insidiously unsafe.”
Scientists also looked at whether Gulf War Syndrome,
which afflicted many veterans of Western militaries with
cognitive and behavioral deficits similar to ALS (a progressive
neurodegenerative disease that destroys nerve cells), could
be related to the aluminum-containing anthrax vaccines
they received. In a series of studies, mice were injected with
adjuvants at doses equivalent to those given to vaccinated U.S.
Gulf War veterans.42,43 The aluminum-injected mice exhibited
significant deficits in memory and motor functions. Testing
showed motor neuron loss and progressive deficiencies in
strength. The mice also had pathological abnormalities that
are characteristic of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s
and dementia. According to the authors of these studies,
“The demonstrated neurotoxicity of aluminum hydroxide
and its relative ubiquity as an adjuvant suggest that greater
scrutiny by the scientific community is warranted.”43
Israeli scientists recently evaluated an aluminum adjuvant
and the HPV vaccine Gardasil to determine behavioral and
inflammatory effects.44 Female mice were injected with
either aluminum or Gardasil in amounts equivalent to
human exposure, or they received a true placebo. (Vaccine
safety trials for the HPV vaccine did not provide the
control group with an inert substance or true placebo; the
“control” group was injected with aluminum.) The Gardasil
and aluminum-injected mice spent significantly more time
exhibiting depressive behavior when compared to the
placebo-injected mice. In addition, anti-HPV antibodies from
the sera of Gardasil-injected mice showed cross-reactivity
with the mouse brain protein extract. Analysis revealed
microglial activation in the hippocampi of Gardasil-injected
mice. According to the authors, “It appears that Gardasil via
its aluminum adjuvant and HPV antigens has the ability to
trigger neuroinflammation and autoimmune reactions,
further leading to behavioral changes.”
There is evidence that aluminum in vaccines may be
linked to autism. For example, the Journal of Inorganic
Biochemistry published data showing a highly significant
positive linear correlation between the amount of aluminum
infants receive from their vaccines and the rates of autism
in several developed nations (Pearson r = 0.89-0.94).45
The authors of this ecological study commented on their
findings: “Our results...suggest that a causal relationship may
exist between the amount of aluminum administered to
preschool children at various ages through vaccination and
the rising prevalence of autism spectrum disorders.”
In another recently published paper, Shaw et al. found
that genetic predispositions may sensitize some children
to central nervous system damage induced by aluminum-
containing pediatric vaccines.46 Moreover, vaccines with
aluminum adjuvants are injected into the body, bypassing
protective barriers of the gastrointestinal tract and skin.
Absorption of aluminum by this mode is more efficient
than through ingestion, increasing the likelihood of a toxic
outcome. The authors summarized their findings: “Evidence
has now emerged showing that autism may in part result
from early-life immune insults induced by environmental
xenobiotics. One of the most common xenobiotic with
immuno-stimulating as well as neurotoxic properties to
which infants under two years of age are routinely exposed
worldwide is the aluminum vaccine adjuvant.”
Recent research published in the Journal of Toxicology
found that aluminum exposure produces adverse effects in
living organisms and is especially damaging to the central
nervous system.47 Aluminum from vaccine adjuvants crosses
the blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers,
provoking harmful immuno-inflammatory responses in
neural tissues. Yet, clinical studies on vaccine safety often
give aluminum-containing injections to a “control” group as
a harmless “placebo” despite evidence that aluminum is toxic
to humans and animals. The use of aluminum as a placebo
cannot be justified. According to the authors of this paper,
“Studies on animal models and humans have shown that
aluminum adjuvants by themselves cause autoimmune and
inflammatory conditions. These findings plausibly implicate
aluminum adjuvants in pediatric vaccines as causal factors
contributing to increased rates of autism spectrum disorders
in countries where multiple doses are almost universally
In another recent animal study, young mice were injected
with either high or low levels of aluminum adjuvants
(designed to correlate with U.S. or Scandinavian childhood
vaccine schedules).48 Significant changes in the mice were
observed, affirming the role of aluminum adjuvants in
adversely altering the central nervous system. The authors
commented on their findings: “These current data implicate
aluminum injected in early postnatal life in some central
nervous system alterations that may be relevant for a better
understanding of the etiology of autism spectrum disorders.”
Vaccine Industry Conferences and Concerns
In May 2000—3 months after the CDC added the
aluminum-containing pneumococcal vaccine to the
recommended immunization schedule for children—the U.S.
113Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 21 Number 4 Winter 2016
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sponsored
a Workshop on Aluminum in Vaccines.49,50 The workshop,
given in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was attended by members
of the vaccine industry, including government officials,
immunologists, pathologists, vaccine manufacturers, metal
ion specialists, and other interested people. It was organized
to increase knowledge about aluminum as an adjuvant in
vaccines, investigate potential adverse reactions associated
with aluminum in vaccines, and develop a research agenda
on the effect of aluminum in the human body. Experts from
around the world were invited to give their presentations on
vaccines and aluminum.
Dr. Romain Gherardi, a specialist in neuromuscular
disease and professor at the Mondor Institute of Biomedical
Research, showed that MMF without vaccination does not
occur. In fact, it often begins after receiving a hepatitis B
vaccine. Myalgia was present in 94% of patients with MMF,
and 85% of these people were disabled. Although 30% of
patients had their first myalgias within 3 months after their
last vaccination, 20% of patients’ symptoms took longer than
2 years to manifest. These myalgias begin in the calves and
legs, then progress to diffuse myalgia. Fatigue was present
in 93% of patients with MMF, and 87% of these people were
disabled. In addition, 34% of MMF patients had autoimmune
disease, including multiple sclerosis and arthritis.50, pp 48-74
In June 2000, the CDC sponsored a conference on
thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines, although aluminum was
discussed as well.51 CDC scientists analyzed the agency’s
Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) database containing
thousands of medical records of vaccinated children and
found statistically significant relationships between mercury
in vaccines and developmental delay, tics, and attention
deficit disorder.51, pp 40-41 However, Dr. Tom Verstraeten,
CDC epidemiologist, analyzed the data and determined
that the injuries could have been caused by aluminum in
the vaccines.51, p 77 It is also possible that the neurological
damage was due to the synergistic effects of both aluminum
and mercury in the vaccines given to the affected children.
Although millions of children every year are required
to receive vaccines containing aluminum and mercury,
evidence supporting the safety of this practice is lacking. For
example, according to Dr. Richard Johnston, immunologist
and professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado
School of Medicine, “Aluminum and mercury are often
simultaneously administered to infants, both at the same
site and at different sites. However...there is absolutely no
data, including animal data, about the potential for synergy,
additivity or antagonism, all of which can occur in binary
metal mixtures.”51, p 20 Dr. Alison Maule, who attended the
Workshop on Aluminum in Vaccines, voiced similar concerns:
“We need to bear in mind that we are not only putting
aluminum in here, we are putting in mercury.... Often these
effects are additive but there is always the possibility of
synergy. We know nothing about that.”50, p 106 Dr. Vito Caserta,
chief medical officer for the Vaccine Injury Compensation
Program, had this to say: “One of the things I learned at the
aluminum conference in Puerto Rico…that I never really
understood before, is the interactive effect of different metals
when they are together in the same organism. It is not the
same as when they are alone, and I think it would be foolish
for us not to include aluminum as part of our thinking with
this.”51, p 234 Dr. William Weil, pediatrician, former member of
the National Institutes of Health, and representative for the
AAP Committee on Environmental Health, was also present
at the CDC conference and made his concerns known: “In
relationship to aluminum, being a nephrologist for a long
time, the potential for aluminum and central nervous system
toxicity was well established by dialysis data. To think there
isn’t some possible problem here is unreal.”51, pp 24-25
Some health authorities who oversee federal vaccine
initiatives candidly acknowledge their limited understanding
of metals—aluminum and mercury—that are added to
several vaccines. For example, Dr. Martin Myers, director of
the National Vaccine Program Office and host of the HHS-
sponsored Workshop on Aluminum in Vaccines, made a frank
admission: “Perhaps the most important thing that I took
away from the last meeting was that those of us who deal
with vaccines have really very little applicable background
with metals and toxicological research.”49, pp 1-2 Dr. Neal Halsey,
director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety, Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public Health, and former member of
the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
(ACIP), was also present at the workshop on aluminum. He
had concerns regarding missing data: “We do not seem to
have information on the age-related toxicity of aluminum,
especially when we are dealing with very young infants….
We do not know whether or not there is a difference in
susceptibility by age, as there [is] with other metals.”50, pp 83-84
Some health authorities seemed to admit that even if
aluminum is dangerous, it would be burdensome to remove
it. For example, according to Dr. John Clements with the World
Health Organization’s Expanded Programme on Immunization,
“There are not easy and obvious substitutes to aluminum
adjuvants…. The existing vaccines, if they change the adjuvant
for any reason, would need to be resubmitted for clinical trials
for safety and eﬃcacy and it would take a great deal of time
to do that.”50, p 75 Furthermore, “Aluminum is not perceived, I
believe, by the public as a dangerous metal. Therefore, we are
in a much more comfortable wicket in terms of defending its
presence in vaccines.”49, p 64
Note: In 2005, 5 years after conference attendees
spoke out about a lack of data on the effects of mixing
different metals in childhood vaccines, Dr. Boyd Haley,
former professor of medicinal chemistry and chairman of
the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky,
published a study in which he investigated the effect of
combining aluminum hydroxide with thimerosal.52 In this
study, cultured neurons showed no significant cell death six
hours after they were exposed to just aluminum; more than
90% survived. Thimerosal alone also caused few neurons
114 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 21 Number 4 Winter 2016
to die after six hours of exposure. Again, more than 90%
survived. However, when cultured neurons were exposed to
aluminum and thimerosal, only about 40% survived after six
hours, clearly demonstrating synergistic toxicity (Figure 3).
exhibit symptoms for several weeks, months, or years, so
it’s very difficult for vaccine recipients to recognize that the
vaccines they received some time ago may be related to
their current disabling autoimmune ailments.
A few years later, the FDA published a study, Mitkus et
al., in which the authors concluded that “the benefits of
using vaccines containing aluminum adjuvant outweigh
any theoretical concerns.”54 This study is often cited as a
confirmation that injecting babies with multiple doses of
aluminum-containing vaccines is safe. However, there are
major flaws in the FDA’s analysis:
1. To determine an aluminum intake “minimal risk level”
(MRL) for humans, a single animal study was used.55 This study
found that mice could receive up to 26 milligrams of aluminum
per kilogram of body weight per day (26 mg/kg/day) with no
adverse eﬀects. After considering diﬀerences between mice
and humans (and other factors), this number was reduced
to create a margin of safety, and an MRL of 1 mg/kg/day was
established for humans, including infants.56 But there is a
problem: 26 mg/kg/day is not a safe amount of aluminum
for animals. Several studies confirm that animals are harmed
by much lower quantities of aluminum—3.4 to 6.1 mg/kg/
day—and at least three of these studies were published
before the FDA paper in 2011, so the FDA study was fallacious
at its inception.57-60 Rats that were given just 6.1 mg/kg/day
aluminum (30 mg/kg/day AlCl3) needed significantly more
repetitions to learn a maze when compared to a control
group.57 Rats that were given just 5.6 mg/kg/day aluminum
(50 mg/kg/day AlCl3-6H2O) had significantly impaired spatial
learning and memory abilities when compared to a control
group. They also had cellular shrinking, plus behavioral,
biochemical, and histological alterations.58 Rats that were
given just 3.4 mg/kg/day aluminum (17 mg/kg/day AlCl3)
“showed behavioral, biochemical, and histological changes
similar to those associated with Alzheimer’s disease.” 60
2. The MRL for humans is derived from dietary aluminum
fed to mice. But infants are injected with aluminum. Injected
aluminum bypasses the gastrointestinal tract and has unique
toxic properties compared to aluminum that is ingested.
To determine the safety of injected aluminum, scientists
must conduct experiments with injected—not ingested—
3. After vaccines containing aluminum adjuvants are
injected into the body, aluminum nanoparticles can be
transported by monocyte-lineage cells to draining lymph
nodes, blood and spleen—and may also penetrate the brain.41
Aluminum is unsafe even in trace quantities. For example,
just 50 nanomolars of aluminum are sufficient to generate
reactive oxygen species (ROS), or oxidative stress, in human
primary neuronal-glial cell cultures and induce inflammatory
gene expression.61 In another study, just 10 nanomolars of
aluminum increased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels four-
fold, causing inflammation in human brain microvessel
endothelial cells.62 But the FDA assumes, without evidence,
that these poorly biodegradable aluminum nanoparticles,
Figure 3. Survival of Neurons Exposed to Aluminum, Thimerosal,
Unconvincing Evidence of Adjuvant Safety
Although several high-level representatives of the CDC,
World Health Organization (WHO), American Academy of
Pediatrics, Institute for Vaccine Safety, National Vaccine
Program Office, and Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
who attended the conferences on aluminum and thimerosal
had serious concerns about the potential hazards associated
with aluminum in vaccines, a conference report and
workshop summary published in the journal Vaccine 2 years
later declared that “the message from this conference for the
global public should stress the safety of both these adjuvants
and these vaccines,” despite acknowledging that “we don’t
know” how aluminum adjuvants interact with the immune
system and how it is processed by infants and children.53 The
conference report minimized risks by claiming that aluminum
has been used as a vaccine adjuvant for more than 70 years
and “has an established safety record with low incidence
of reported adverse events.” However, no one is warning
vaccine recipients to consider the possibility that their
adverse event could be related to aluminum in their vaccines
nor encouraging them to report it to health authorities.
Furthermore, research indicates that many people who have
adverse reactions to aluminum-containing vaccines won’t
Cultured neurons showed no significant cell death 6 hours after
they were exposed to just aluminum; more than 90% survived.
Thimerosalalone also caused few neuronstodieafter6hoursof
exposure. Again, more than 90% survived. However, when
about 40% survived after 6 hours, clearly demonstrating
Aluminum Thimerosal Alum&Thim
115Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 21 Number 4 Winter 2016
which have been detected in body organs up to a year after
vaccination, are harmless, and they are not calculated by
the FDA as part of the aluminum “body burden” until they
4. The “retention function for aluminum,” a mathematical
equation that the FDA used to help estimate levels of
aluminum in infants, was derived from data on only one
person, an adult (rather than from numerous infants), and an
estimate on the rate of absorption of aluminum hydroxide
following injection was based on data from just two rabbits.
The FDA paper also falsely claimed that “occasional
irritation (dermal) at the site of injection is the only adverse
effect that has been reported in the published literature”
following injections of aluminum-containing vaccines. And
the clinical symptoms in patients diagnosed with MMF “are
considered to be due to separate, coincidental immune or
neurological disorders that are unrelated to the presence
of aluminum in vaccines.”5 4 The Global Advisory Committee
on Vaccine Safety, established by WHO, welcomed the FDA’s
analysis endorsing the safety of aluminum in vaccines.63 The
CDC vigorously defends the presence of aluminum in vaccines
as well.64 Clearly, FDA, CDC, and WHO agree on continuing
indefinitely with their current policies of injecting babies
with multiple doses of aluminum-containing vaccines.
Aluminum Toxicity Acknowledged for Parenteral Nutrition
Although the FDA’s recent paper advocates the continued
use of aluminum in childhood vaccines, FDA has known for
many years that aluminum can be dangerous. For example,
some infants require parenteral nourishment (administered
by intravenous injection). All parenteral nutritional formulas
contain aluminum. According to the FDA, “when medication
and nutrition are administered orally, the gastrointestinal
tract acts as an efficient barrier to the absorption of
aluminum, and relatively little ingested aluminum actually
reaches body tissues. However, parenterally administered
drug products containing aluminum bypass the protective
mechanism of the gastrointestinal tract and aluminum
circulates and is deposited in human tissues.”65
In a 1997 study published in the New England Journal
of Medicine, scientists assessed 182 infants who received
intravenous injections of nutritional formula that contained
differing quantities of aluminum.20 They calculated that
infants who received aluminum at greater than 4 to 5 mcg/
kg/day would lose 1 point per day on the Bayley Mental
Development Index (p = 0.03). Babies who score low on
this test are at risk for subsequent developmental and
educational problems. This study contributed to FDA’s
decision to set limits on aluminum content in parenteral
drug products and require warning labels on the package
inserts—safety measures that were never required with
aluminum-containing vaccines. In the Code of Federal
Regulations, Title 21, published in the Federal Register,
aluminum toxicity levels are revealed:
WARNING: This product contains aluminum that
may be toxic.... Research indicates that patients
with impaired kidney function, including premature
neonates, who receive [injections] of aluminum at
greater than 4 to 5 mcg per kilogram of body weight
per day, accumulate aluminum at levels associated
with central nervous system and bone toxicity. Tissue
loading may occur at even lower rates.66
This means that for a 6-pound baby with impaired kidney
function, 11-14 mcg of injected aluminum would be toxic.
The hepatitis B vaccine given at birth contains 250 mcg of
aluminum—20 times higher than safety levels indicated for
preemies. Babies weigh about 12 pounds at two months of
age when they are injected with 1,225 mcg of aluminum
from their CDC-recommended vaccines—50 times higher
than safety levels for preemies.
Healthy babies may be able to handle quantities of
aluminum above FDA toxicity levels indicated for patients
with impaired kidney function. However, no one knows how
much more aluminum is safe because adequate studies were
never conducted. In addition, babies are not screened for
renal function prior to vaccination. Therefore, it is impossible
to know ahead of time which babies will succumb to
aluminum poisoning. Instead, parents are expected to play
Russian roulette with their children.
Aluminum adjuvants are added to several vaccines
to elicit a more robust immune response and increase
vaccine efficacy. Infants and young children throughout the
world receive high quantities of aluminum from multiple
inoculations. Incremental changes to the vaccination
schedule during the past several years significantly
increased the quantity of aluminum in childhood shots.
Numerous studies provide compelling evidence that
injected aluminum can be detrimental to health. Aluminum
is capable of remaining in cells long after vaccination and
may cause neurologic and autoimmune disorders. During
early development, the child’s brain is more susceptible to
toxins and the kidneys are less able to eliminate them. Thus,
children have a greater risk than adults of adverse reactions
to aluminum in vaccines.
Millions of children every year are injected with vaccines
containing mercury and aluminum despite well-established
experimental evidence of the potential for additive or
synergistic toxicity when an organism is exposed to two
or more toxic metals. Dr. Haley’s study in which cultured
neurons died at an accelerated rate following concurrent
exposure to aluminum and thimerosal provides evidence
of an enhanced detrimental effect. In addition, aluminum
toxicity levels published by FDA indicate that two-month-old
babies who are vaccinated according to CDC guidelines may
116 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 21 Number 4 Winter 2016
be receiving quantities of aluminum that are significantly
higher than safety levels.
Toxic metals such as aluminum do not belong in
prophylactic medications administered to children,
teenagers, or adults. Vaccines are normally recommended
for healthy people, so safety (and efficacy) standards must be
impeccable. Parents, especially, should not be compelled to
permit their loved ones to receive multiple injections of toxic
metals that could increase their risk of neurodevelopmental
and autoimmune ailments. Safe alternatives to current
disease prevention technologies are urgently needed.
Neil Z. Miller is a medical research journalist. Contact: email@example.com.
Disclosures: No conﬂicts of interest were disclosed.
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