Mercury in vaccines from the Australian childhood immunization program schedule

Austin, David W., Shandley, Kerrie and Palombo, Enzo A. 2010, Mercury in vaccines from the Australian childhood immunization program schedule, Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A, vol. 73, no. 10, pp. 637-640, doi: 10.1080/15287391003613994.

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Title Mercury in vaccines from the Australian childhood immunization program schedule
Author(s) Austin, David W.ORCID iD for Austin, David W.
Shandley, Kerrie
Palombo, Enzo A.
Journal name Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A
Volume number 73
Issue number 10
Start page 637
End page 640
Total pages 4
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2010
ISSN 1528-7394
Summary Despite the removal of the mercury (Hg)-based preservative thimerosal from vaccines listed on the Australian Immunization Program Schedule for children, concerns remain among some researchers and parents for the safety of the present schedule, in part due to a fear of residual trace levels of Hg. The purpose of this study was to independently assess childhood vaccines for the presence of Hg. Eight vaccines administered to children under the age of 5 yr were assessed for Hg content via a DMA-80 direct mercury analyzer. Seven of the 8 vaccines contained no detectable levels of Hg (less than 1 ppb); however, 1 vaccine (Infanrix hexa) tested positive for Hg at 10 ppb. The result was confirmed and validated by retesting the original sample. Follow-up testing was conducted on three additional samples of Infanrix hexa (one from the same production lot and two from a different lot). All three tested positive for Hg (average of 9.7 ppb). Although the levels of Hg detected are substantially lower than any established exposure safety limits, the results of this study reveal that inaccuracies exist in public health messages, professional communications, and official documentation regarding Hg content in at least one childhood vaccine. In the interests of public health, it is incumbent on vaccine manufacturers and responsible agencies such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Federal Department of Health and Ageing to address this issue as a matter of urgency.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/15287391003613994
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Taylor & Francis
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