Generic: Used in many vaccines, including H1N1
Manufacturer: Eli Lilly
Date approved: 1930s
Status: Withdrawn from children’s vaccines, however it has been used in the H1N1 vaccine
Approved uses: Vaccine preservative
Off-Label uses: N/A
• Thought to be linked to disorders such as autism
• Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
• Speech Disorders
• Development Disorders.
Related topics: Unsafe Drugs
Thimerosal Lawsuit Information
Thimerosal is an organic compound used as a preservative in many vaccines since the 1930s. Although it contains almost 50 percent mercury by weight, Thimerosal was thought, until recently, to be benign. At high levels of exposure, mercury has been found to cause neurological, immune, behavioral and motor disorders. There is a fear that Thimerosal in vaccines is linked to disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and speech and development disorders. Although Thimerosal has been removed from children’s vaccines in 2001, it was recently used in the H1N1 vaccine in late 2009.
Thimerosal and Its Use as a Preservative in Vaccines
Thimerosal has been used as a vaccine preservative since the 1930s and, until recently, it has been viewed as a safe, reliable, and somewhat drab defender against bacterial and fungal contamination — it kills bacteria and prevents bacterial contamination in certain containers. Some of the vaccines that contain Thimerosal are often recommended for use on infants and young children, including vaccines for Hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, acellular pertussis, and tetanus. The problem with Thimerosal is that it contains 49.6% mercury by weight. Mercury is a toxic metal that at high exposure levels can cause immune, sensory, neurological, motor and behavioral disorders, especially in fetuses and infants whose brains are still developing.
The Link Between Thimerosal and Autism
One of the biggest concerns for parents and health officials is the link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. Autism is marked by problems with the sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral functions. In the last few years, some parents whose babies had been developing normally but suddenly exhibited signs of autism alleged that the vaccines were the culprits. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found enough data to link mercury-containing vaccines and developmental disorders. Among these disorders are autism, attention deficit disorder, and speech and language deficiencies. Recently, the increase in the worldwide rate of autism has brought special attention to the danger of Thimerosal. The rise in autism occurred at the same time the availability of vaccines increased and a lowering of the age at which many vaccines are administered to infants and young children was approved.
The Call for Thimerosal-Free Vaccines
The first official concern about mercury in pediatric vaccines was raised in 1999, when the Food and Drug Administration issued a report stating “infants who received Thimerosal-containing vaccines at several visits may be exposed to more mercury than recommended by federal guidelines for total mercury exposure.” The Federal government recommended in 1999 that the pharmaceutical companies should provide a Thimerosal-free vaccine supply by the summer of 2001. One month later, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a notice to its members stating a preference for Thimerosal-free vaccines. In October of 2001, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that all remaining stocks of Thimerosal vaccines be removed from shelves immediately and destroyed.
If your child has been given a vaccine containing Thimerosal and has been injured, you may have a legal case. If you would like to contact an attorney, please click the Find Attorney button at the top of the page.