Experts Argue Against Proposed Ban On Vaccine Preservative

The preservative in question is thiomersal, an organomercury compound. Wikipedia says: "Risk assessment for effects on the nervous system have been made by extrapolating from dose-response relationships for methylmercury. Methylmercury and ethylmercury distributes to all body tissues, crossing the blood–brain barrier and the placental barrier, and ethylmercury also moves freely throughout the body. Concerns based on extrapolations from methylmercury caused thiomersal to be removed from U.S. childhood vaccines, starting in 1999. Since then, it has been found that ethylmercury is eliminated from the body and the brain significantly faster than methylmercury, so the late-1990s risk assessments turned out to be overly conservative."

But, people hear the word 'mercury,' and their fear - coupled with the basic science illiteracy this nation is plagued with - makes all other arguments go out the window. This reminds me of the ban, in the dental industry, of a substance once used to make fillings, consisting of mercury moleculary bonded with some other substance, which escapes me now. This self-same fear that the word 'mercury' induces caused the substance to be banned: "Put mercury in people's *mouths*! Are you insane!" Never mind that molecularly bonded materials react chemically and physically quite differently than the same substances in their unbonded state. For instance, you would never take oxygen or hydrogen into a burning building. But, the same two elements molecularly bonded together is *water*. See what I mean?

Here's the link:

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