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More Fringe Than Rug: Time Attacks Robert Kennedy's Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak

Thimerosal RFKNote: Anyone, from political activists, to celebs to "Real" Housewives to actual housewives who question vaccine ingredients and/or safety is shunted into the "anti-vaccine fringe category."  In 2014 there's more "fringe" (those who study and learn and report) than rug, as Americans question vaccine safety like any other product, thus the desperate push to denigrate, disassemble and deny by pharMedia.

By Anne Dachel

July 21, Jeffrey Kluger--TIME:
RFK Jr. Joins the Anti-Vaccine Fringe  "Most fundamentally, Kennedy does not get chemistry. Thimerosal is an ethylmercury product. Mercury in general may be a neurotoxin, but it's in its methylmercury form that it does its damage-and only in particular concentrations. The quantity of ethylmercury that was once in vaccines was so small that it was actually within acceptable limits for the more toxic, methyl form-but it wasn't even in that methyl form to begin with."

TIME actually went further than the others in slamming Kennedy's thesis with Kluger's defense of methlymercury, along with the ethymercury used in vaccines.  He wasn't afraid to say thimerosal is mercury. He just doesn't see a problem with it.

I would like to ask all the reporters writing on this subject, not just Kluger, Sanders, Salzberg, and Helmuth, do you know anything about the history of thimerosal?

The truth is, officials don't want to research just how dangerous thimerosal is when injected into children and mothers-to-be.  Ten years ago, on June 4, 2004, acting director of the FDA, William Egan,  was called to testify before the House Committee on Government Reform about thimerosal. 

U.S. Rep. Dan Burton: "Mr. Egan, has thimerosal ever been tested by our health agencies?"

William Egan: "Its been only those early tests that you know of that were done by Lilly."

Burton: "That was done in 1929....

"And lets just follow up on that. In 1929, they tested this on 27 people that were dying of meningitis . And all of those people died of meningitis. And so they said, there was no correlation between their deaths, and the mercury in the vaccines. That is the only test that has ever been done on Thimerosal, that I know of. Can you think of any other?"

Egan: "No, in people, no. Except for accidental exposures over the."

Burton: "So we have mercury that has been put into people's bodies in the form of this preservative ,and has been since the thirties, and it has never been tested by our health agencies. And yet, you folks come here , and you testify that there is no 'conclusive evidence,' conclusive evidence, and the IOM says 'they favor,' - get this - they don't say they are sure, they say they favor rejection of a causal relationship between mercury and autism and other neurological disorders. Mr. Egan, can you tell me right now that that amount of mercury injected into a baby will not hurt it?"

Egan: "It's.. You know, it's, it's , it's impossible to make those categorical statements that one hundred percent .."

That is the inescapable truth about the safety of thimerosal. 

It's hard to understand reporters who are so willing to risk their reputations by ardently defending the use of toxic mercury in vaccines when the science simply isn't there.  Mercury has been used in vaccines for eighty-five years without ever being tested by the government for its toxic effects.   Steven Salzberg's may cite "study after study" as proof that thimerosal is safe, but the truth is these studies are merely easily flawed and manipulated population studies--the weakest kind of science.  The fact that our health officials keep doing them and yet they never settle the question, should tell reporters something.

In the real world, over the last two decades, children were exposed to greater and greater amounts of a toxic, untested vaccine additive and at the same time we've seen an explosion in neurologically disabled children.  The response of health officials has been to pretend that all the kids who can't speak, can't learn, and can't behave are all the result of better diagnosing.  Kids have always been like this, we just didn't call it autism.

It becomes more and more difficult to accept the official claims about mercury in vaccines or read about it in the news.

I talked to Dr. Boyd Haley recently about the response to Kennedy's book.  Haley is the former chairman of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky and a recognized authority in mercury toxicity and he's one of the experts Kennedy consulted and he's very outspoken about the dangers of thimerosal and the link to autism.  

###

 

In 2010, Dr. Haley talked with Robert Kennedy on his show, "Ring of Fire," about the safety of thimerosal.

 

 In my conversation with Haley, he was clear, "Kennedy's opinion is based on published science." 

"Those who are fighting Kennedy are all people who would lose a lot if he's proven right."

 Haley called the claims of health officials regarding the safety of thimerosal, "fraudulent--the worst possible statistical tricks."  Furthermore, "this organized media response against Kennedy shows how right he is.'

Anne Dachel Book CoverAnne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of  The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which goes on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.

Comments

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cia parker

On Amazon there are already several reviews of Kennedy's book, even though it hasn't been published yet. I think some have been given a copy to advance review. One commenter, Maria Ruges, said that in the preface Kennedy expresses complete support for vaccination. Apparently the book is meant to urge complete removal of thimerosal from vaccines because it is a neurotoxin, while not talking about the science which has shown that it causes autism. Why would Kennedy have agreed to take that chapter out? It's not as though he had been successful in placating pharma interests, and hard to see why, given the subject matter of the book, he would want to do so. Isn't it better to be hanged for a sheep than for a lamb?

Benedetta

People who suffer pinks disease back in the 30s and 40s from mercury medicine and teething powders -Oh, and tricked into eating mercury coated seed corn do have a high number of offspring that suffer from Kawasaki disease.

I found it eye opening and had never thought of what are the ifs of methyl mercury meeting ethyl mercury and aluminum!

Soil bacteria such as Clostridium - as in infant botulism, tetanus, C diff, botulism -- are resistent to mercury pretty much -- after all they are soil bacteria. So they along might survive in a gut during a metting of methyl and ethyl -- and Alum.

You know if the field of microbiology had not been filled full of idiots in little miltiary uniforms smirking at the thought of an epidemic -- I mean if it had some visionaries - true environmentalists out of uniform --- things might be very diffrent.

Laura Hayes

Dr. Boyd Haley, you are amazing. Thank you for speaking the truth in a hostile climate and for refusing to ignore or lie about what is being done to our children by our government, elected officials, and doctors. You are a true hero.

david m burd

All, The toxicity and Serious Adverse Events for vaccines is basically done for only 3-4 days after the injections. This is stated by numerous Studies from the various vaccine manufacturers.

Since vaccine toxic effects usually manifest a week or two later, the whole system is fraudulent - and swallowed whole by the complicit mainstream news world.

Of course, numerous serious adverse or lethal (i.e. SIDS or SUID) reactions occur within hours or several days, but they are chalked up to "coincidence" as chalked up by brainwashed medicos and pediatricians never questioning what they've been taught.

Danchi

I went over the Times" and tried to read the article but couldn't get through it. All the article is is an exercise in character assassination and misinformation. I'm pretty sure there is some significant censoring going on. Since the release date of the book many website have posted some kind of Robert Kennedy is a bad person article. Daily Mail has gone out of its ways to malign Kennedy with stories about his personal life. That shows desperation. Many of us feel compelled to respond and support Robert Kennedy but engaging in debates with people who are paid to lie with impunity is pointless and will serve no one. It certainly won't serve Mr. Kennedy.

The trolls are in force on the Times story and led by none other than Dorit Reiss. Somebody posted links to Age of Autism to give the other readers an idea of what Reiss is. Also posted was the webpage on her trolling the Katie Couric site and the fact she posted over 900 comments in 6 days. I did that a few weeks ago and she was quite annoyed telling me that the comment board was not the appropriate place to post such information. I though that was rich. The troll I guess didn't like being exposed.

This is my two cents if you go to comment on any of the articles that are going to pop up on Sunday and next week, don't engage in debate with the trolls. It will only confuse and discourage real folks who are trying to obtain information. Instead, post links to studies like the recent Dr. Brian Hooker study, with a brief explanation of what the study is and than expose the trolls by providing links to Age of Autism pages that highlight Dorit Reiss. More than likely lilady will follow so just give them this link: http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/unvaccinated-kids-healthier-study-%E2%80%93-gorski-his-internet-bullies-admit-sabotage/. I've also encountered nonation(sp), Mike Stevens, Chris and Melody Butler. They seem to appear on sites shortly after Dorit.

Despite the character assassination of Kennedy, the name still has currency which is why there is such a manic & frantic onslaught of propaganda against him. He will endure because I'm sure he was well aware what was coming down the road.

Angus Files

Kluger put on the car window wipers..mud setting ...should help you a bit...

MMR RIP

Birgit Calhoun

Yes, exactly, and she knew that she had come in contact with the substance, and she did not go to the doctor until she had symptoms weeks after the incident. We are talking about timeline here. How long does it take for symptoms to develop? It takes a long time. How long does it take for all the glutathione to be used up. Where did the Pichichero mercury actually go? I people who cannot sufficiently excrete, it gets stored somewhere or might wreak havoc at a later date. People generally have the mistaken idea that poisoning must happen within 24 hours or so. That's why, in part, Pichichero is wrong. With mercury neurological symptoms don't have to show up in two days. They show up when the human body's defenses become impaired. It can take a day or two or 15 or 20 or more. Basically that information is not really well known. This tragic accident is meant to illustrate how toxic mercury is and how ignorant even this very knowledgeable reseacher was. Check it out! The lethal dose took close to a year to kill her. It's written up in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Cassandra

Birgit, Dr. Wetterhahn died from dimethylmercury toxicity.
It is the most toxic organic form of mercury. A drop on the skin was enough.
A sad accident.

aspiesmom

Vaccine cult of corruption/collusion reaches critical mass.

Birgit Calhoun

Merthiolate as Thimerosal was once called was tested in 1929. There was one test done on animals and another one was done on the meningitis patients. I read both articles. I have access to the books where these studies appear.

The Merthiolate was studied on rabbits and those rabbits did not die. After one week they were sacrificed, i.e. put to death. There is no telling what might have done them in if they had been allowed to live without interference.

Chances are they would have died of mercury poisoning. As it turns out we'll never know the real outcome of that study.

As we know from the mercury-poisoning incident with seed grains in Iraq, the chickens that were fed poisoned seed grains did not die after six weeks. The people who ate those same chickens, when the six weeks were over, were mercury poisoned.

Knowing that it takes more than six weeks to show the devastating symptoms of organic mercury poisoning (any kind of mercury poisoning) would explain why they made the mistake in 1929 concluding that mercury from Merthiolate did not do harm to those animals. What is egregious, is that right now there are so few people who understand how mercury works, and that even in 1929 they thought that these poor meningitis patients suffered no ill effects from the dose of Merthiolate.

You have to be a real scientist to get that. If anyone wants to google Karen Wetterhahn, it took her a long time to die from methyl mercury. So it should be expected that ethyl mercury takes at least as long to damage the system if it is supposedly not as dangerous. Ethyl mercury may not kill, but it does damage. It needs to be studied properly and lose its grand-fathered-in status.

david m burd

Perhaps Jeffrey Kluger can treat his TIME editors to ethylmercury pork chops at their Company Picnic. Another pork chop, anybody?

It seems Romanian toxicology experts would disagree with TIME reporter Kluger:

http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/43/2/143.full.pdf

aspiesmom

Beware of group called "Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism". It is very unclear what their true mission is as they simply repeat "vaccines are safe" over and over again, and they use ad hominem attacks against thoughtful scientific discussions when they realize they do not have the research savvy of those who quote studies concluding vaccine ingredients are dangerous neurotoxins.

Jenny

Here is an important plea to help people come forward to solve corruption, fraud, and conflict of interest issues - needs immediate action to affect a July 30th meeting:

http://action.whistleblowers.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14547

Ask Congress to Save America's Most Important Whistleblower Law

Take Action!

Demand that the House Judiciary Committee cancel the hearing on False Claims Act “reform” scheduled for July 30, 2014. If the Committee is determined to hold the hearing, then a member of the National Whistleblower Center should be invited to testify as a witness.

Carol

"Most fundamentally, Kennedy does not get chemistry. Thimerosal is an ethylmercury product. Mercury in general may be a neurotoxin, but it's in its methylmercury form that it does its damage-and only in particular concentrations. The quantity of ethylmercury that was once in vaccines was so small that it was actually within acceptable limits for the more toxic, methyl form-but it wasn't even in that methyl form to begin with."

Wow, Jeffrey, I so totally get it now. What could be clearer than that? I love it when a complex subject is explained by an expert. Pure poetry ;)

Louis Conte

And let us not forget that the science most relied on by the Special Masters in the NVICP's Omnibus Autism Proceedings was produced Poul Thorsen.

Mr. Thorsen has a felony warrant out for his arrest - he is a fugitive from justice.

Great guy for the CDC to do business with.

John Stone

The person who doesn't do science is Mr Kluger. Here we are from 2013:

J Appl Toxicol. 2013 Aug;33(8):700-11. doi: 10.1002/jat.2855. Epub 2013 Feb 11.
Toxicity of ethylmercury (and Thimerosal): a comparison with methylmercury.
Dórea JG1, Farina M, Rocha JB.
Author information
Abstract

Ethylmercury (etHg) is derived from the metabolism of thimerosal (o-carboxyphenyl-thio-ethyl-sodium salt), which is the most widely used form of organic mercury. Because of its application as a vaccine preservative, almost every human and animal (domestic and farmed) that has been immunized with thimerosal-containing vaccines has been exposed to etHg. Although methylmercury (meHg) is considered a hazardous substance that is to be avoided even at small levels when consumed in foods such as seafood and rice (in Asia), the World Health Organization considers small doses of thimerosal safe regardless of multiple/repetitive exposures to vaccines that are predominantly taken during pregnancy or infancy. We have reviewed in vitro and in vivo studies that compare the toxicological parameters among etHg and other forms of mercury (predominantly meHg) to assess their relative toxicities and potential to cause cumulative insults. In vitro studies comparing etHg with meHg demonstrate equivalent measured outcomes for cardiovascular, neural and immune cells. However, under in vivo conditions, evidence indicates a distinct toxicokinetic profile between meHg and etHg, favoring a shorter blood half-life, attendant compartment distribution and the elimination of etHg compared with meHg. EtHg's toxicity profile is different from that of meHg, leading to different exposure and toxicity risks. Therefore, in real-life scenarios, a simultaneous exposure to both etHg and meHg might result in enhanced neurotoxic effects in developing mammals. However, our knowledge on this subject is still incomplete, and studies are required to address the predictability of the additive or synergic toxicological effects of etHg and meHg (or other neurotoxicants).

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ottoschnaut

Kluger is making pronouncements about a book he has not read. Accordingly, he can accurately be described as both ignorant and prejudiced, two character traits that often are linked.

Kluger coined the hate speech term, published in Time, "extremist anti vaccine nut jobs" when referring to vaccine injured families.

Fact is, the vaccine establishment is terrified of this book. One of the the Slate/Wash Post nexus attacks memes on the book is that because RFK Jr is a co-author, he will get access to politicans that the hoi poloi cannot get. Oh, the horror! A concerned citizen getting possibly unfiltered access to not only the media, but to lawmakers. A nightmare scenario for the NIH/CDC officials who are into the thimerosal/live virus vaccine scandal up to their eyeballs.

Kluger and his ilk of vaccine fascists take great pains to avoid mention of Evidence of Harm, Dave Kirby's Evidence of Harm, Investigative Reporters and Journalists Book of the Year award winner in 2005.

Further, Kluger pretends that Dr. Bernadine Healy did not go on CBS Evening News in 2008 denouncing the one size fits all vaccine schedule and the lack of a vax-no vax study.

Let The Science Speak is a waking nightmare for the old white guys, self dealing, circle jerking, unsupervised, unaccountable, and unregulated vaccine hoodlums who are seeking to illegally ram vaccines up our collective asses on the pretense of public health. Screw them all. This book strikes fear into them. They must evaluate whether to try to crush RFK Jr, or flee. A tough choice for a 50-60 something vaccine profiteer. If they do not crush RFK, this could be the tipping point that puts them in front of TV cameras on Capital Hill, swearing in unison that tobacco is not addictive, I mean, that injecting mercury into neonates is a fine and dandy thing to do all day long.

The fat is in the fire and the beads of sweat are on their foreheads. What can we do? Attack! Post the book everywhere. Post EOH right below. Post Bernadine Healy right below. Out the truth and watch the rats closely. If, as, and when they begin to crack, to circle around and eat each other, re-double your efforts.


Benedetta

"worst possible statistical tricks"

- when this is all over - the dust clears and it will

statisical classes in college will be cancelled.

Even when the weather man says - there is a 90 percent chance of rain -- people will roll their eyes.

John Stone

This is the Safeminds review of the Pichichero study from from 2002:

INTRODUCTION

This analysis describes the concerns which Safe Minds has over a recently published study in The Lancet by Michael Pichichero et al.(1) in which blood measurements were taken of infants after administration of vaccines containing thimerosal. The article and accompanying commentary contain several sweeping statements about thimerosal safety:

* "Overall, the results of this study show that amounts of mercury in the blood of infants receiving vaccines formulated with thiomersal are well below concentrations potentially associated with toxic effects."

* "Administration of vaccines containing thimerosal does not seem to raise blood concentrations of mercury above safe values in infants."

* "This study gives comforting reassurance about the safety of ethyl mercury as a preservative in childhood vaccines."

The design and results of the study do not support these statements. In fact, the results suggest that thimerosal exposure from vaccines may have caused neurological damage in some children. Safe Minds questions the objectivity of the study authors, due to their ties to vaccine research and vaccine manufacturers, which may have resulted in a biased study design and biased interpretation of the results.

OBJECTIVITY OF THE AUTHORS

* Pichichero has an acknowledged financial tie to Eli Lilly, the developer of thimerosal and the main target of thimerosal litigation. He has also claimed financial ties to a number of vaccine manufacturers, including manufacturers of thimerosal-containing vaccines.(2) For example, in an article in the American Academy of Family Physicians newsletter of April 2000, Dr. Pichichero makes this disclosure statement

(3):

"The author has received research grants and/or honoraria from the following pharmaceutical companies: Abbott Laboratories, Inc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Eli Lilly & Company; Merck & Co.; Pasteur Merieux Connaught; Pfizer Labs; Roche Laboratories; Roussel-Uclaf; Schering Corporation; Smith Kline Beecham Pharmaceuticals; Upjohn Company; and Wyeth-Lederle."

* Pichichero's work has been cited in 21 vaccine patent applications He was involved in the recommendation for the Wyeth rotavirus vaccine and failed to anticipate its risks.

(4) This vaccine was withdrawn soon after licensure due to adverse reactions.

* A substantial proportion of Dr. Pichichero's work involves vaccines. Safe Minds conducted a simple Medline search of publications listing M Pichichero as an author.(5) A breakdown of these publications by subject area shows that many focus on vaccines, especially those which contained thimerosal.

161 publications

23 DPT

7 Hib

1 HepB

1 Polio

3 Pneumococcal Conjugate

3 Rotavirus

4 New combination vaccines or general vaccine discussions

The remainder deal with otitis media and use of antibiotics Note some articles were counted more than once because they addressed more than one vaccine

* Similarly, the University of Rochester web site provides biographical information on Dr. Pichichero, which describes his focus on vaccine research. (6) It describes him as an immunologist, not a toxicologist. None of his work involves safety assessment of a heavy metal or other toxicant. One paragraph cites his work on the Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine, one of the thimerosal-containing vaccines that was added to the CDC/AAP-recommended infant schedule in 1991, nearly doubling the thimerosal load.

* John Treanor, another author, has also conducted substantial research into thimerosal-containing vaccines, and the University of Rochester is one of a few sites designated by NIH for evaluating new vaccines. Investigators at the University of Rochester helped develop the Haemophilus influenzae B vaccine. Per its web site, "Rochester has become a national model...in ensuring that as many people as possible are immunized." (7)

STUDY DESIGN ISSUES

Sample

* The sample size was small. Although the overall sample size was stated as 61 infants, there were only 33 exposed children who were used for the blood mercury assessment upon which the safety conclusions were made. One major shortcoming of a small sample size is the low chance of including infants who are especially sensitive to mercury's effects, or who may have detoxification difficulties. We know from the mercury literature that there is wide variability in the population in regard to mercury sensitivity and clearance. Since vaccines are given to virtually all infants, even if 1% retained mercury to a much greater degree than the "norm", this would represent a large number of injured children.

* The small sample size means that the study lacks sufficient power to establish safety claims.

* The sample was not randomly drawn, but was a convenience sample, and therefore not representative of all infants in terms of health status, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and other potentially important factors.

Dose

* Given that the half life of ethylmercury appears to be 6-7 days, virtually all, if not all, blood draws missed the peak blood concentrations of mercury. It is evident that earlier peaks existed because the feces contained high mercury values, and feces reflect earlier blood levels. It is impossible to state what the peak values are if they were not measured. It is also impossible to calculate average blood concentrations unless peak concentrations are measured. Standard methylmercury pharmacokinetic (PK) studies consider peak and average blood concentrations, along with tissue distribution, as necessary components of toxicity assessment. It is disingenuous to compare the blood levels in this study with past methylmercury ones without any type of adjustment factor, because the methylmercury studies incorporated peak levels into their values, whereas this study only included the smaller values.

* The dose of ethylmercury given to subjects varied greatly

and was less than what a typical child in the 1990s could receive. In a rationally designed PK study, the dose is kept constant. In the Pichichero study, the 2 month old subjects were injected with between 37.5 mcg and 62.5 mcg of ethylmercury reflecting a 67% difference between the lowest and highest dose. The mean was 45.6 mcg. The typical child in the 1990s could receive 62.5 mcg of mercury at age 2 months and an additional 12.5 mcg at birth (from the Hepatitis B vaccine), or 37% and 64% more Hg, respectively, than the children in this study. The 6 month old subjects were injected with between 87.5 mcg and 175 mcg of ethylmercury reflecting a 100% difference between the lowest and highest dose. The mean was 111.3 mcg. By 6 months of age, the typical child in the 1990s would have received 187.5 mcg Hg, or 68% more than the Pichichero study group average.

* The total recorded dose of ethylmercury was not administered during the study data collection period. According to the national immunization schedule that existed during the data collection period (November 1999 to October 2000), it is not possible for a six month old infant to receive 175 mcg of ethyl mercury at only the six month visit. Rather, at 6 months of age, an infant would receive a maximum of 62.5 mcg Hg, from a DTaP, a HiB, and a Hep B vaccine. Thus, the Pichichero study, in calculating dose, included exposures which occurred months prior to the last injection. Thus, when the study characterizes blood draws as being "X" days after the mercury exposure, this is misleading, because it refers only to the last injection. Thus, the reader really doesn't know how much dose any infant received at that last exposure from the data presented in the table in the study.

* In a properly designed PK study, multiple blood draws should be taken from each subject, and blood collection times should be consistent for all subjects. In this study, there was a single draw per child, and the collection times varied from 3 to 21 days for two month old infants, a 700% difference, and from 4 to 27 days for six month old infants, a 675% difference.

Modeling

* The single compartment model and safety assumptions looked

at blood levels as the determinant of safety. However, a more important measure is mercury distribution into tissue, particularly the brain. Estimation of brain accumulation would require a two compartment model and measurement of peak blood levels, neither of which were components of this study. Yet it is apparent that the mercury is moving through the body and is redistributing because it is in the feces at substantial levels.

STUDY INTERPRETATION

* Improper use of methylmercury safety levels as a marker for ethylmercury risk: the Pichichero study compares ethylmercury blood levels with levels from methylmercury risk assessments, but obviously, ethylmercury is a different molecule than methylmercury, and therefore it needs its own safety assessment. A slight change in molecular structure can have very different effects in the body. There has never been a full safety assessment of thimerosal, as the FDA has admitted. The only way to do this is to conduct a series of cellular or molecular level studies as well as population studies consisting of either (a) animal studies which measure behavioral, neuropsychological, or physiological outcomes (that is, does "x" dose result in "y" aberrant behavior or "z" reduction on memory tests, etc.), or (b) human studies on exposed populations, again looking at behavioral, neuropsychological, or physiological outcomes. These types of studies have been done extensively for methylmercury, and this is why methylmercury blood levels can be correlated with certain outcomes or risk, but it has never been done thoroughly for thimerosal. The Pichichero study does not address adverse outcomes at all, and therefore does not constitute a true safety assessment.

* Improper interpretation of 1994 Grandjean study to assess

safety: the Lancet study authors cite a 1994 article by Philippe Grandjean as saying that a 29 nMol/L blood concentration is the level for methylmercury which is thought to be safe, since it is ten times lower than the levels at which adverse effects have been found in methylmercury research. (Ten times 29 nMol/L equates to 290 nMol/L, or 59 part per billion.) Actually, as the EPA explains (8), the EPA incorporated a ten-fold factor into their safety assessments due to "uncertainty factors" because the methylmercury studies are small, have a high margin of error, and there is immense variability in human response to mercury. Thus, to be truly protective of the population, blood levels should not exceed 29 nMol/L (which equates to 5.8 parts per billion, or the 6 mcg/L the EPA refers to in their document). The EPA was concerned when a national study (NHANES) showed that 10% of the US women of child bearing age had blood mercury over 6 ppb. Thus, a level of 6 ppb or over, equivalent to 29+ nMol/L, is considered by EPA to be cause for alarm.

In the Pichichero study, there is one infant blood level out

of the 17 2-month old blood samples (12%) which was 20.55 nMol/L, or 4.1 ppb. This infant had its blood drawn at day 5, received 37.5 mcg/Hg, and weighed 5.3 kg.

a) Day 5 is past the peak value in blood, meaning that at days 1-3, levels would be much higher.

b) A 37.5 mcg dose is (conservatively) 60% of what a typical 1990s infant may have received (37.5/62.5=60%).

c) A 5.3 kg infant is at the 95th percentile of weight for a 2 month old, that is, a large, heavy baby. Since blood Hg concentrations are in part dependent on weight, a child with a lower weight than this infant (that is, 95% of the 2 month old

population) would have had a higher blood level than this infant.

The implications of points a, b, and c are that (1) if the study infant's blood were taken at 1-3 days, it is more than likely that the Hg levels would have exceeded 6 ppb; (2) it is likely that the peak levels of more than 12% of 2 month old children children given the full 62.5 mcg of mercury would exceed 6 ppb; and (3) a larger percentage of smaller infants - but still those of "normal" weight - would be likely to have blood levels exceeding 6 ppb.

In addition, there were two other 2 year olds with mercury levels at between 10 and 15 nMol/L. These values are with 1/2-1/3 of the EPA margin of safety, with blood draws on days 6-7.

For these reasons alone, the results of the Pichichero study are anything but "reassuring" to parents whose children were exposed to thimerosal as infants.

LEARNING FROM THE STUDY

Despite its many limitations, the Pichichero study does

provide new or confirming information about the pharmacokinetics of ethylmercury injected into infants.

* The half life of ethymercury in infants appears to be

shorter than methytlmercury, approximately 6-7 days. Pharmacologically, this period would be considered a very long half life and a long time for a toxic substance to be circulating in the body. In fact, the single blood draw after 20 days for which mercury quantitation could be made showed mercury being circulated at about 5 nMol/L. In a developing brain a few days are significant time periods for an agent that interferes with cell division and organization.

* The control group had no detectable mercury, indicating that the mercury in the exposed group was due to the thimerosal in the vaccines.

SUMMARY

The Pichichero is a small-scale descriptive study with many design limitations, which has moderate value in advancing understanding of ethylmercury pharmacokinetics. It has little if no value as a safety assessment of thimerosal from vaccines, and its conclusions are overreaching, perhaps reflecting a bias on the part of its lead author towards absolving lisenced vaccines of any adverse effects.

References

(1) Mercury concentrations and metabolism in infants receiving vaccines containing thiomersal: a descriptive study, by Michael E Pichichero, Elsa Cernichiari, Joseph Lopreiato, John Treanor. The Lancet. November 30, 2002.

(2) UpToDate.com web site. Accessed 11/29/02. http//www.utdol.com/application/help/conflict.asp

(3) Acute Otitis Media Part I. Improving Diagnostic Accuracy, by Michael E. Pichichero, M.D. American Academy of Family Physicians newsletter, April 2000. Site accessed 11-29-02. http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000401/2051.html

(4) Rotavirus vaccines and vaccination in Latin America, by A. C. Linhares and J. S. Bresee. Pan Am J Public Health. 8(5) 2000. Accessed 11-30-02. http://www.paho.org/english/dbi/es/ARTI--Linares.pdf

(5) Pichichero Publications based on Medline Search of

November 30, 2002, by Safe Minds

(6) Biographical Information on M. Pichichero, University of Rochester web site. Accessed 11-29-02. http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/gebs/faculty/Michael_Pichichero.

htm

(7) Vaccine Technology Takes Center Stage in Rochester, University of Rochester press release, October 8, 1998. Accessed 11-30-02. http://www.rochester.edu/pr/releases/med/vaccines.htm

(8) Development of Methylmercury Reference Dose, by Dr.

Kathryn Mahaffey, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Site accessed November 30, 2002. http://www.masgc.org/mercury/abs-mahaffey.html

http://www.vaccinationnews.org/DailyNews/December2002/SafeMindsAssessment4.htm

cmo

Did Robert Kennedy get a 12 million dollar advance on the book like Hillary Clinton did?

How can someone get the courage to go up against the endless wisdom of the "tobacco scientists" who now all work for the vaccine industry ???

John Stone

PS The defense of vaccine mercury is a tragic bureaucratic farce. The fact that it seems to repeatedly rest on the lamentable Pichichero study is ridiculous and significant. It is like saying that a car coming towards you at 60 mph is less likely to kill you than one travelling at 120 mph, therefore there is no need to get out of the way of the car travelling at 60 mph.

Taximom5

@Bob Moffitt: I think you mean, "Dr. Haley." Dr. Healy would also be great on the witness stand, but, sadly, she passed away.

John Stone

Anne

I also noted this remarkable statement in TIME. Author Jeffrey Kluger in fact links to pages on the FDA website and reports conclusion which they do not support (though no doubt deliberately misleading), when the very issue of whether the official science is trustworthy is at issue, and draws conclusions from a deeply misleading account. In particular, the FDA bases the defense of thimerosal and vaccine mercury on the flimsy Pichichero paper, slackly conducted, masively conflicted in undisclosed ways and itself deeply misleading.

The fallacy is that supposing mercury is excreted more rapidly from the body with ethyl mercury than methyl mercury (which the study purports to show) that it necessarily does not do any damage or that the body does not retain any of it. That would be a foolish inference and the one which Kluger makes. The paper never demonstrated the slippery hypothesis on which it was based which was anyhow later shown to be erroneous by the NIH study of Burbacher, in which experiments on macaque monkeys found that thimerosal left deposits inorganic mercury in the brain.

This is the identical bureaucratic imposture - you could not call it scientific - which was used to save thimerosal from a UN ban in January 2013 with representations from GAVI the Gates Foundation etc. I wrote about this at the time and I wrote openly to Dr Larson asking her to defend her position (which she did not do).

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/01/not-all-mercury-is-toxic-desperate-throw-in-new-scientist-to-prevent-un-ban.html

I do not think that even allowing for all that there was any statement by the FDA about safe levels of exposure to thimerosal, an inference that Kluger witlessly seems to draw.

What Kluger has done is fundamentally incompetent and shows the lametable state into which mainstream journalism has fallen.

BoB Moffitt

I suspect Mr. Kennedy will not receive the same "welcome author" nationwide tour that other .. less controversial authors are granted. Indeed, it will be interesting to see which television networks .. and .. television shows .. allow his book to be reviewed "on-air"?

If this subject were really as "scientifically settled" as everyone claims it to be .. they have a great opportunity to confront Mr. Kennedy .. on-air .. with their own "experts" .. but .. we already know that is not going to happen. Thinking people ought to ask themselves "why not"?

It was very encouraging to hear Dr. Healy use the word "criminal" as he spoke about the life-long injuries children have suffered as a consequence of public health authorities who have failed to conduct critical research regarding thimerosal .. thereby failing to protect our most precious resource .. our children.

I would love to see Dr. Healy on the "witness stand" testifying as to "what" public health officials knew .. and .. "when" they knew it. I would also love to be on the jury hearing that testimony.

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