Mercury Allergen and Flu – Is it Something to Worry About?
The flu shot is the globally accepted way to combating the Influenza virus. Millions of people in the U.S. depend on the flu shot to steer clear of the inconveniencing and potentially fatal flu infection. However, despite the fact that the flu shot is over 50 years old, recent concerns about thimerosal, a popular preservative in the annual flu vaccine has made many think twice before getting a shot.
Thimerosal contains mercury traces. Mercury is a well-known neuro-toxin whose effects to the body aren’t alien to even the general population. This ethly mercury-based preservative is common in multi-dose vials. It prevents bacteria or fungi from contaminating the stored vaccine.
Why Do Multi-dose Vials Need the Preservative?
To use a multi-dose vial, the health practitioner has to draw from the vial multiple times using an syringe or an appropriate vessels. Puncturing the vial’s seal increases the chances of contaminating the entire batch with bacteria or fungi.
An infected vaccine is downright dangerous. The effects of the contamination on your body will be almost immediate and more lethal than the little amount of mercury you consume by taking such a vaccine.
The Dosages in the Vaccines are Still Above the Safe Mark
While the number concentration of mercury in modern multi-dose vaccines is down to the bare minimum, a good number of them still have Thimerosal concentrations above the federal safety guidelines.
With the CDC guidelines recommending annual shots to children between two and five years of age, the mercury concentrations in the body can easily spiral out of control.
How to Avoid the Thimerosal
Most single dose, pre-filled syringes or nasal spray vaccines rarely have Thimerosal as a vaccine. This doesn’t mean that this mercury-based preservative wasn’t used during manufacture. The FDA allows manufacturers to label their vaccines Thimerosal free if the chemical was used during the manufacture process but wasn’t included in the vial as a preservative.
Important Facts About Mercury Concentrations in the Body
- 0.5 parts per billion (ppb) will kill human neuroblastoma cells
- 2ppb is the U.S. EPA limit for mercury in drinking water
- 20 ppb of mercury will destroy Neurite membrane structure
- 200 ppb is the hazardous level in liquids given by the EPA
Is Thimerosal an Express Death Ticket?
There are reports to prove that Thimerosal doesn’t have the harmful effects linked to mercury. Methly mercury is responsible for nervous system damage. Since Thimerosal is an ethyle mercury, it doesn’t necessarily have the same impact to the nervous system.
This evens out the playing ground making the multi-dose vaccine less lethal than mercury contaminated water or even some types of fish, for instance the sword fish, that have higher concentrations of the harmful methyl mercury.
Should I Still Get the Vaccine When Pregnant?
Taking the flu vaccine when pregnant or giving it to babies below five years of age is life saving. The influenza virus can easily kill babies since their immune system and body’s ability to tolerate illness isn’t as good as an adult’s.
However, it would be wise to steer clear of multi-dose vaccines that tend to have more concentrations of Thimerosal. Ask for single dose products or specifically look for Thimerosal products to keep yourself and your baby’s mercury concentrations as low as possible.