Aluminum is an ingredient in many of the infant/ childhood vaccines. Aluminum can be found naturally in our food, water, soil, and air. So what is all the hype over putting aluminum in our children’s vaccines? Should you be concerned? I hope to shed some light on this situation. It is always better to be informed about what we choose to inject into our children’s bodies.
I first learned about the possible dangers of aluminum in vaccines when I read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. He did a long write up in his book about the potential risks large amount of aluminum pose to our young babies. Here is some information I learned from the book:
A group called the ASPEN (The American Society for Parenteral and Enternal Nutritionists) published a study in 2004. In the study they looked at newborns that received IVs (which contain aluminum) for prolonged periods. They reported that aluminum can build up in the body tissue of newborns. It should also be noted that the IV packaging places a warning that states, “This product contains aluminum that may be toxic.” The packaging also warns that premature babies should be limited to 5 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. But most of the vaccines contain way more than 5 micrograms. Below is a list of vaccines that contain aluminum and their amounts.
- HIB- 225 micrograms
- PC- 125 micrograms
- DTaP- 170- 625 micrograms
- Hep B- 250 micrograms
- Hep A- 250 micrograms
- HPV- 225 micrograms
- Pentacel (DTaP, HIB, Polio) 330 micrograms
- Pediarix (DTaP, HIB, Polio) 850 micrograms
As you can see this is way more than 5 micrograms of aluminum per shot. A study done in 1997 looked at the neurological development of premature babies who were given a standard IV feeding solution that contained aluminum and compare it to premature babies who were given the same IV feeding solution but with the aluminum almost filtered out. The babies who received the IV with aluminum in it showed “impaired neurological and mental development at eighteen months compared the infants who had the IV with hardly any aluminum in it. Those who got aluminum received an average of about 500 micrograms spread out over an average of 10 days, or about 50 micrograms per day. The babies who got the solution with aluminum filtered out received about 10 micrograms daily, or 4 to 5 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. ” (p.197 )
There have been no studies that tests the amounts of aluminum in vaccines to date. The studies with the premature babies is enough to bring on some concern. So if aluminum can be toxic, why are they keeping it in the vaccines? Aluminum helps the vaccines to work better by helping our immune systems recognize the vaccine better. There are some vaccines that do not have any aluminum in them and they work just fine. It would cost the drug companies a lot of money to reconfigure their vaccines to contain no aluminum in them. So until there is a major study that shows that aluminum in vaccines can be toxic to young babies and children, I believe there will be no change.
What can we do?
- Choose the do the Alternate Vaccine Schedule outlined by Dr. Sears. This schedule has spaced out the vaccines so that your child does not receive more than one aluminum contain vaccine at a time. See my post on the Alternate Vaccine Schedule http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/alternate-vaccine-schedule/
- Ask doctor for the HIB vaccine that does not contain aluminum and the DTaP that has a reduced amount of aluminum in it
- try not to give your child combination vaccines (more than one vaccine) that has more aluminum than the individual shots