The annals of “I’m not antivaccine,” part 21: Oh, wait, maybe I am antivaccine after all

This is yet another in the continuing saga of “I’m not antivaccine,” a continuing series of posts demonstrating how the oh-so-loud and vigorous denials of antivaccine activists that they are antivaccine are in reality either a lie or self-delusion. There have been so many previous installments, twenty, to be precise. There could easily have been ten times that number. These days, I tend to take note of only particularly egregious examples. This installment, however, will be a bit different than previous installments because the actual speaker is antivaccine. She even says so. Why, then, am I featuring her, given that she openly states that she is antivaccine? Read on.

I’m referring to Laura Hayes, who gave an introductory talk before a recent screening of Andrew Wakefield’s and Del Bigtree’s antivaccine propaganda “documentary” VAXXED in Roseville, CA. The filmmakers behind VAXXED have been featured before in this particular series, because they do so frequently deny that they are antivaccine, while their movie lays down scene after scene of antivaccine propaganda and they themselves spew antivaccine tropes hither, thither, and yon wherever they go, even meeting with legislators to try to get them to “investigate” the CDC and excusing the murder of an autistic child.

Now, the filmmakers have Ms. Hayes introducing their film with a 12 minute speech:

She begins:

Thank you all for coming tonight! Please be warned that I am not going to mince words tonight as I welcome you. Perhaps if more people had not minced words in years past, my children would not have been injured by vaccines, one to the point of severe and permanent disability. I thank you all for coming tonight because it is going to have to be people like us…informed, principled, ethical, concerned American citizens…who are going to have to expose the horrendous truth about the always life-altering, often life-decimating, and sometimes life-ending vaccinations that are harming and prematurely killing our children every single day, not to mention, people of all ages. It is WE who are going to have to work non-stop to put an end to this ever-increasing medical tyranny, this abominable Vaccine Holocaust, this present evil.

There’s that word, “Holocaust,” again. Antivaccine activists do so love that word to describe the effect of vaccines. How many times have I heard that word slip from antivaccinationists who claim they aren’t antivaccine. Ms. Hayes, of course, makes no such claim. Indeed, she has argued in the past that you can’t be pro-vaccine and pro-science and stated that personally she has “no problem being called anti-vaccine” because she is, in fact, antivaccine and described vaccination as “barbaric practice that is not founded on any sound science.”

So it’s not surprising that she goes on to justify her use of the term “Holocaust” thusly:

For those who think “holocaust” is too strong a word, I assure you it is not. “Holocaust” is defined as “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale”, and that is indeed what vaccinations are doing to those who receive them, which can often be observed in the short term, always in the long term, and for generations to come as you will learn as you study these issues more. There is an ominous agenda underway, named Healthy People 2020, with the goal being to vaccinate all people, from fetus to grave, worldwide, with scores of vaccines and a recommended list that is ever-increasing…and that goal is in serious danger of being achieved. We must not let that happen!

Because preventing children from suffering and dying of infectious disease is just like what Hitler did to the Jews. Because autism is just like being marched into a fake shower in order to be gassed. Because health authorities are doing all this on purpose, just as the Nazis intentionally murdered millions of Jews and other “undesirables” and “subhumans.” I get so sick of this particular antivaccine trope. At least Ms. Hayes admits she’s antivaccine. Most of the people who use it deny they are antivaccine. (I’m talking to you Dr. Bob Sears.) The hypocrisy is astounding.

So let’s see what else Ms. Hayes says at the screening of this movie that is, if you believe those who made it, not antivaccine? Here’s a selection:

Many of us were duped and fell prey to the biggest lie of all times…that vaccines are safe, effective, necessary, and have saved millions of lives.

All of which is, of course, actually true (other than anyone being “duped.”) Vaccines are safe and effective, and they have saved more lives than any other medical intervention ever devised by the human brain. Truly, prevention is the best way to save lives, and vaccines are preventative medicine at its finest.

In case you don’t believe her, Hayes goes on:

When we began to put the puzzle pieces together, which wasn’t hard as so many of us had nearly-identical stories, we realized the horrible truth that no parent wants to learn…that we actually unknowingly allowed our precious children to be harmed, and in some cases, killed…by vaccine after vaccine…and in some cases, by just one vaccine…beginning on the day of birth (which is now actually beginning in utero), and continuing at regular and frighteningly-frequent intervals throughout infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood…and which are now being recommended to be continued during every single year of a person’s life…with the annual influenza vaccine, booster shot after booster shot, and new vaccine after new vaccine.

Wow. That’s a run-on sentence to surpass all my run-on sentences, and I should know. Be that as it may, notice how at a screening of a film whose makers take pains to describe as not being antivaccine there is a woman introducing it who openly describes herself as “antivaccine” and basically blames vaccines for a Holocaust caused by doctors and the health officials who encourage vaccination. The language is apocalyptic. Vaccines are characterized as evil and frightening. Worse, to Hayes, they are thieves who have stolen her “real” child away and replaced that child with an autistic one, or, as she puts it elsewhere they are “transformed into someone who will be dependent on others for the entirety of their lifetime, never reaching what would have been their full potential, never living independently…perhaps never even using the toilet throughout their entire lifetime, but forever being in diapers…often living with great pain and suffering…”

To her, of course, it has to be the vaccines. It’s always about the vaccines, no matter what science says:

When we told our doctors what we had witnessed, and what we suspected was the cause of our children’s many health, development, behavioral, speaking, and learning issues…we were told, “Nope, it wasn’t the vaccines.” According to medical “experts”, it is NEVER the vaccines. They tell us the temporal association between the vaccinations and the onset of numerous problems was merely coincidental.

You know what I say to that ignorance, arrogance, utter nonsense, and blatant stupidity: Vaccines…the leading cause of coincidences in the world!

This is, of course, a common cognitive issue we humans have. We don’t realize that coincidences really are much, much more common than we realize. Think of it this way. Millions of children every year receive multiple vaccinations at intervals throughout the ages when autism is most commonly diagnosed. By random chance alone, there will be a fraction of them who exhibit the first symptoms of autism in relatively close temporal proximity to being vaccinated. So when a child develops the first symptoms of autism sometime after recent vaccination, the vaccine might or might not have caused it. We frequently say that correlation does not equal causation, but the better way to phrase this concept is that correlation does not necessarily equal causation, because sometimes correlation does equal causation.

So how do we tell the difference between coincidence and actual causation? We do science! We try to correlate autism with vaccination. There are a number of techniques by which scientists can do that. They could do a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine if vaccinated children have a higher prevalence of autism, but that would be unethical because it would leave the control group unprotected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Fortunately, there are epidemiological techniques that can ask and answer the same question. This has been done in the form of numerous studies trying to draw a correlation between vaccines and autism; no well-designed, well-executed epidemiological study done by reputable scientists has found a link between vaccination and autism. It’s not for lack of trying, either. Indeed, because of the pseudoscience zombie that will not die, the myth that vaccines cause autism, scientists are still doing variations of the same studies over and over again.

But you know that. At least, my regular readers know that. I could list the papers. I could delve into the studies. Here is not the place, however, as that is not my purpose here. My purpose is simply to illustrate one thing. Antivaccinationists who claim they are not antivaccine can easily be shown to be either lying or deluded. After all, if you’re “not antivaccine,” as Andrew Wakefield, Del Bigtree, and Polly Tommey claim to be, you don’t allow someone like Laura Hayes to give a 12 minute speech introducing your movie and refer to vaccination as “evil” and a “Holocaust.”

There’s a lot of that sort of thing going around among those who claim to be “not antivaccine.”

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It's hard to believe that it's been nearly seven years since I started a recurring series that I like to refer to as The annals of "I'm not antivaccine." Indeed, this will be the 23rd entry in this particular series, whose purpose is to analyze why you shouldn't take it seriously when certain…

After all, if you’re “not antivaccine,” as Andrew Wakefield, Del Bigtree, and Polly Tommey claim to be....

Again: "'We don’t want to see measles not vaccinated [sic],' Bigtree said. 'I don’t think that’s an anti-vaccine message, I’d say that’s a very pro-vaccine message.'"

Hayes is merely a constipated version of Frompovich.

And to think, all this started with a bunch of lawyers who wanted to make an easy killing by scaring people into a class action suit by convincing people that vaccines were the next
Dalkon Shield, after all it worked with silicone breast implants...

You can be anti-vaccine as we know it, but be pro-inoculation!
Some people are wary of some of the vaccine ingredients. For example: Why use neurotoxic phonoxyalcohol instead of ethanol? Why use neurotoxic Thimerosal at all?

Surely, there has to be a way to create vaccines using non-toxic preservatives.

@ackley: first you need to prove that IN THE DOSES GIVEN that the ingredients are neurotoxic. Of course, given that you've listed Thimerosol, which is in very few vaccines, and in NO vaccine given to pregnant women and children (hint: single dose vials don't have it, only multidose vials), I suspect you're a standard hit and run troll. If you're not, come back and explain your concerns.

Well, I am not sure how else to explain the litany¹ of adverse effects. Perhaps it could just be due to a cytokine storm and not due to the preservatives.

Why not just use ethanol? Am I missing something? Does the Phenoxy group perform some kinda voodoo or something?

¹http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234367/

First, explain what a cytokine storm is and what can cause one.

Go back, take organic chemistry, and then tell me the differences between ethanol and phenoxyalcohol and why one might be preferred over the other. Or, try googling it. Then, explain why, IN THE AMOUNT YOU FIND IN A VACCINE, it makes a difference.

Linking to an article about a vaccine no longer in use (DPT) that was published 25 years ago does not speak well for you and your research. We do check references, here, to see if they are relevant and timely.

Oh, and correction: the article discussed the single measles also. But it's still from 1991.

I have taken Organic Chemistry you arrogant twat, and I did tell you why one would be preferred over another.

ackley, I don't know about phonoxyalcohol but ethanol is not enough to completely sterilize materials even in high concentrations. You might be able to wing it and simply replace the entire vaccine solution with ethanol, but at that point there's a good chance the vaccine itself might be destroyed. If I have to guess, the phonoxyalcohol would sterilize with a small concentration. Also FYI, ethanol is also neurotoxic, we just don't think about that when we drink booze.
Finally, the book you linked to is two decades old, is the vaccine referenced there still in use or have there been any improvements to the formulation so it's safer?

No, you didn't say why one would be preferred over the other. You just asked why one was used over the other. You also haven't addressed my other questions.

Namecalling. The refuge of the weak who can't answer questions. Sigh.

Cytokine storm??
Last i knew, we weren't inoculating people with live EBV.

For those who think “holocaust” is too strong a word, I assure you it is not.

I have so had it with these feckkneckles and their Shoah dress-up games.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Namecalling. The refuge of the weak who can’t answer questions. Sigh.

Coming right on the heels of the banning of "Annabel Lee", could it be... THE SAME PERSON!?!?!?

Why use neurotoxic phonoxyalcohol instead of ethanol?

As J #9 pointed out, ethanol is also a neurotoxic but a less efficient preservative.
In microbiology, we typically use a 70% solution to kill bacteria, viruses and the like. Less concentrated solutions would have a preservative effect, but we are still talking about 10-30% concentrations.
As my teachers told me, less than 60%, you are not strong enough to kill micro-organisms, above 90%, you will just dry them and preserve them until the next time you add water.

tl;dr: you are talking about replacing phonoxyalcohol by a shot of vodka. I don't think that would result in a loss of toxicity.

Surely, there has to be a way to create vaccines using non-toxic preservatives.

The reasons there are trace amounts of formaldehyde or thimerosal in vaccines is because those are used during vaccine manufacturing to either kill the pathogens the vaccine is going to be made of, or to flush and sterilize the system between batches.
If we want to avoid something like a repeat of the Cutter incident, a mild preservative won't do.

Also, "non-toxic preservatives" is a bit of an oxymoron. A preservative is meant to kill organisms (or at least seriously inconvenience them).
At the proper doses, even highly-bacteria-specific biocides like antibiotics are toxic for us (to start with, our gut flora is going to see collateral damage when we swallow an antibiotic pill).
Conversely, at the properly low doses, a number of nasty molecules are safely handled and eliminated by our liver and kidneys on a daily basis.

If you think thimerosal is bad, try sodium azide.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Jay: maybe. If it is, the banhammer will come down. Orac hates sockpuppets.

As to "the litany of adverse events...":

There isn't one. While adverse events can happen, the actual evidence is that serious ones are very rare. The way around that, as this blog shows here and in many other places, is to blame everything in the world on the vaccines.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

As to “the litany of adverse events…”:

"Litany" is presumably used here in the sense of "ritual recitation, devoid of meaning, used for symbolic effect".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

"Maybe"? See "Superscripts, Unicode."

It is because ethanol kills bacteria in a colligative way (think osmosis), whereas phenoxyethanol destroys bacteria by interfering with DNA synthesis.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Narad: TBH, I don't have the geekitude to do that. I'm only a very little geek. :)

While I agree with you, I think it important to point out that the phrase "vaccines are safe and effective," is slightly misleading. Given the regulations and supervision of the manufacture of vaccines, they are safer than any other product in the U.S. Safer than other pharmaceuticals. Safer than food. And definitely much safer than alternative and complementary medicines. However, antivaccinationists claiming that the CDC and others have stated that vaccines are absolutely safe is simply not true. One can go to the CDC website and read the possible adverse events from each vaccine, both minor and the rare serious. And, by law, parents are given a Vaccine Information Sheet that clearly explains the risks from the actual disease and the possible adverse events. And vaccines are not 100% effective. However, for anyone who takes the time to learn about the risks from the natural diseases, the risks from vaccines are minuscule. Antivaccinationists see the world in black and white. Either vaccines are 100% effective and 100% safe or they are unacceptable. However, if they really adhered to this, then they would be afraid of everything. So, they selectively apply their illogical, irrational dichotomous approach only to vaccines.

By Joel A. Harris… (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

I'm seeing more and more antivaxxers starting to use Trump-like and White Supremacist-like reasoning over vaccines. Vaccines are killing us, taking away our greatness, or causing some sort of holocaust or genocide. It's fear this, fear that... Us against them. Blah, blah, blah. They're all cut from the same cloth as far as I'm concerned.

The Jewish population in Europe was decimated by the Holocaust. A quick check online shows that their population went from 9.5 million in 1939 to 3.5 million people in 1945. In comparison, the population of children aged 0-19 years in the US went from 71.9 million in 1990 to 80.5 million in 2000 to 83.2 million in 2010. Simply put, Laura Hayes is a lying liar who lies. She is yet another example of lying anti-vax scum, just like Wakefield, Tommey and Bigtree.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Laura Hates (whoops I meant Hayes) is probably a person who uses the Holocaust for her purpose while at the same time denies the Holocaust ever happened.

A preservative, as used in pharmaceutical products, is generally not intended to kill microbes but to inhibit their reproduction. The preservative must be compatible with the product - some things reduce the effectiveness of the preservative (preservative binds to something in the product or won't work at the required pH) and some preservatives can damage the product.

Ethanol is a poor preservative. The "minimum inhibitory concentration" of ethanol is about 9% for organisms of concern. Phenoxyethanol is about ten times as effective, with an MIC of about 0.9%. Formaldehyde is effective at much lower concentration, but there are compatibility issues. Thimerosal works well at 0.01% or less.

Phenoxyethanol is a common preservative in cosmetics. It is almost universally true that people who write on the web about the constituents of cosmetics spew complete nonsense about things they don't even begin to understand. Some of this seems to rub off on the anti-vax crowd.

.......
It's got Antifreeze in it!!! It's right there in the Other Name They don't want you to know: ethyleneglycol monophenyl ether - SEE! ethylene glycol !!!!

ackley@5:

I have taken Organic Chemistry you arrogant twat

Taken a bit too much of it too, by the sounds of things. Perhaps you could do some Organic Drying Out before you post again?

Joel A. Harrison@22:

Either vaccines are 100% effective and 100% safe or they are unacceptable. However, if they really adhered to this, then they would be afraid of everything. So, they selectively apply their illogical, irrational dichotomous approach only to vaccines.

Odd how we never hear about the Vast Big Motor Conspiracy to hide the truth on the unacceptable dangers of car seats and automobiles, even though those kill and injure way more kids than vaccines do. But I guess the thought of having to walk everywhere lessens their enthusiasm somewhat.

try sodium azide

Where, if ingested, the vomitus bursts into flames?? The stuff often used in mutation breeding? No thx, Helianthus #14!

According to medical “experts”, it is NEVER the vaccines.

This one is particularly annoying because not only is it patently untrue, but the antivaxxers themselves cite contradictory examples all the time - all of the adverse events included in the Vaccine Injury Table that the NVICP uses are there precisely because there's scientific evidence that they're causally linked to vaccination, even if it's only one or two excess cases per million vaccinations. It's just another example of antivaxxer projection: to them, it's ALWAYS the vaccines, so it follows that for provaxxers it must NEVER be the vaccines.

Awwww...it appears as though the troll disappeared under their bridge. And I was so looking forward to their rebuttals...

Hiding under a bridge after a rainstorm can be hazardous. The troll may have been swept away.

Seriously. F*ck Hayes and all the antivaxxers who misappropriate the Holocaust. The comparison is as (or more) absurd as Donald Trump comparing his "sacrifice" of being a successful businessman to the sacrifice of parents who lost a son in combat. I am so tired of the privileged white class pretending that they face such terrible adversity. F*ck them and their bullsh*t persecution complex.

Tony@32

Awwww…it appears as though the troll disappeared under their bridge. And I was so looking forward to their rebuttals…

Too bad. In particular I wanted to ask if they had even read the reference provided in #5; considering that reference concludes that of all the adverse events looked at only a causal relationship with acute encephalopathy was supported by the evidence. The others were either unsupported or do not have enough evidence. Hardly a litany.

For someone who has apparently taken Organic Chem I'm surprised ackley doesn't understand that you can't just add or subtract groups without any effect. Why don't we just drink methanol instead of ethanol? Does the extra methyl group perform some kind of vodoo or something?

That's how stupid you sound ackley.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Vaccinations are doing destruction or slaughter on a mass scales, the effects of which can *always* be seen in the long term?

How long? My parents are in their eighties, and they, like I, are brimful of every vaccine, booster, and flu shot we can get. That's a lot of decades between us all, but we are still waiting to see effects of mass destruction.

Perhaps by "long term" Hayes means "on the time scale of ferns converting into coal." No way to disprove that!

By Garnetstar (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Garnetstar: As a famous economist once said: In the long run, we're all dead. Despite the advances of modern medicine, life remains a condition with a 100% mortality rate.

It's easy to fall for the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. That's what most anti-vax crusaders do: they noticed that their (or their friend's) child was diagnosed with some condition (autism is the most common but not the only one) after being vaccinated, and jump to the conclusion that the vaccines did it. From there, a combination of innumeracy (looking at increasing autism rates without considering the possibility that it's diagnosed more often because more doctors know to look for it) and considering their autistic children to be not fully human (I'm not joking here--several anti-vax parents have made statements to this effect) leads to claims of mass destruction.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Now, the filmmakers have Ms. Hayes introducing their film with a 12 minute speech... After all, if you’re “not antivaccine,” you don’t allow someone like Laura Hayes to give a 12 minute speech introducing your movie and refer to vaccination as “evil” and a “Holocaust.”

Sorry, but Del, Phillipe etc. almost certainly don't have control over who may speak before screenings of the film. That would be up to the exhibitor, and 'Vaxxed' has moved from conventional theatrical bookings to screening-on-demand showings: some AV activist in a local community contacts a theater and gets it to commit to a single screening if-and-only-if they can get enough commitments for ticket sales online in advance. So, it's basically the local AV 'cell' putting on the show, and they'll get to put whoever they want to introduce it, since Cinema Libre isn't going to harm their already-a-lot-less-than-they-hoped-for rental numbers by adding some rider to the contract requiring them to approve anyone who might speak inside the screening space.

So, basically, what you have here is evidence that the hard-core AVs that are likely the base 'Vaxxed' audience left at this point clearly recognize the dog-whistles, and aren't troubled by Andy's new "just don't give so many so often" pose, as they probably know it's just BS.

The video of Lura Hayes was upped to YT by a user named 'Kathleen Roberts' who appears to be an all-in AV fangirl, posting any and every bit of vaccine smack she can find to YT, where it's viewed by ~50 people unless it gets some external publicity or link. The Hayes vid now has 565 views, and I wonder how many of those were RI readers who clicked through to get a dose of the delivery tone... With those figures, I can't imagine Roberts has any connection with the 'Vaxxed' gang, beyond enthusiastic adulation.

Despite the advances of modern medicine, life remains a condition with a 100% mortality rate.

Sexually transmitted, too.

I note that this gem from the original wasn't included:

Tonight, we are about to watch a documentary which has forever altered the landscape in our country and beyond.

Now, it's true that the aging plaster that was my bedroom ceiling collapsed shortly after I got up, but y'know, G-d made the Earth, but man made the Netherlands.

@Narad: TBH, I don’t have the geekitude to do that.

I was referring to "Phoebe C."'s discovery of them.

Prevalence, incidence, whatever:

The current figure for Autism in our country, which is outdated by the way due to using a birth cohort born many years ago, is 1 in 45 children! And in some states, it is even more alarming than that! 1 in 45…that is more than 2% of the children in our country! That is roughly 7,500 children per month, or 90,000 children per year, being diagnosed in our country with this debilitating, lifelong disorder!

This line from Orac "Worse, to Hayes, they are thieves who have stolen her “real” child away and replaced that child with an autistic one," made me think of old stories about babies who were stolen by fairies and replaced with changelings, and the only way to get your baby back was to hold the changeling over the fire.

In some ways these parents are following a path that is much older than vaccines. Once, it was fairies who stole your perfect child. Now it's vaccines.
(Really, your child was just never the way you wanted them to be, but no one's been stolen.)

By JustaTech (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Ha! I just found ackley over on The Pump Handle trying to blame Zika microcephaly on "Dtap" using a paper on a pertussis vaccine from 1991 that was looking at adverse events in children (not fetuses).

Uh, yeah no.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Article: ...this abominable Vaccine Holocaust, this present evil.

I wonder what would an anti-vaccine holocaust denier think of this statement?

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

And to think, all this started with a bunch of lawyers who wanted to make an easy killing by scaring people into a class action suit...

I'd say 'this' all started maybe 15 or so million years ago, as the evolution of primates began to select for the higher survival rates of creatures with:
1) Aversion to puncture wounds, especially those resulting in some sort of fluid entering the body.
2) Temporal pattern recognition of common post hoc consequences. That is, if a predator attack follows a rustling of the bushes, a quick-processing algorithm resulting in a decision to run away offers a survival advantage over examining all the factors that might make the bushes rustle.

Which is to say that it's 'natural' for human to be both afraid of needles, and consider being stuck memorable. It's also then 'natural' for humans to attribute any dramatic observed change to the most 'dramatic ' disturbing, and non-routine event that preceded it. And, sure enough, vaccination has been freaking people out since the days of Edward Jenner. Vaccination didn't become commonplace until the early 19th Century, or about four seconds ago in evolutionary time. I'm afraid that as a species we'll likely be stuck (so to speak) with a hard-wired wariness of it until civiization-as-we-know-it collapses after coastal population centers are flooded by rising sea levels.

Of course, for most people in industrialized nations, that 'natural' bias is overcome by education and socialization, and various other factors have to be in place in individual history and psychology to move it back into the foreground. But it was the existing suspicions of a vax-autism link, and the economic vulnerabilities of the relevant players, that created an opportunity for the lawyers to go judgement-hunting. Unscrupulous litigators looking for a big payday know they'll do better exploiting well-established angst than trying to gin up a whole new issue out of whole cloth. In other words, the money was already on the table well before the lawyers smelled it, and the lawyers were already on the hunt when Andy Wakefield first imagined the cash-pot that could be tapped by providing them some faux-science ammo.

until civiization-as-we-know-it collapses after coastal population centers are flooded by rising sea levels.

Yea; It's kinda like attack of the killer slugs where the bimbo that first showed her breasts only had 24 hours to move away a few inches. Puh-leeze, sadmar #45. Venice adapted. Besides, it is the natural variation mesoscale 20 ft in an hour that really makes for a bad day; And we haven't seen a landfalling hurricane of any strength since 2005 (I know, I know ... It could turn around tomorrow)--

a remarkable 27 major hurricanes have developed in the Atlantic basin, but all have avoided the United States. Klotzbach said the odds of none of those striking the United States is 1-in-2,300.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/no-major-us-hurricanes-in-11-yea…

There is another good reason not to use ethanol in vaccines. I'm old enough to have had a good many vaccines, including some no longer given; some hurt more or less than others, but if you've ever been injected with ETOH (I have - lab accident, not my fault either), you will know that it hurts like a sonofabitch, worse than the worst vaccines I ever had.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Speaking as a Jew who was born when the Shoah was still very fresh in the collective consciousness, I find every comparison to it which does not directly address events in Rwanda, Cambodia, South Sudan, East Timor, Iraq, Armenia,and suchlike to be obscene and offensive.
Vaccination is in no way comparable to violent genocide, even if antivax claims were real.

By Od Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Offensive as the syringe swastika is, it is easily countered. How about a scalpel swastika captioned "Do you know who also favored appendectomies?"
Or this - "Do you know who also wore shoes?"
Or Hitler's picture with a caption of "Guess who was also a vegetarian?"
(Or should that read "veget-Aryan"?)

By Od Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Sadmar, it's a sorry fact that Wakefield's so-called study was bankrolled with funds meant to provide legal assistance to child malpractice victims. Just one more reason to despise him as a tick on the body of society.

By Od Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Speaking as a Jew

What's the over/under on a summoning of Sierra November?

Ha! I just found ackley over on The Pump Handle trying to blame Zika microcephaly on “Dtap” using a paper on a pertussis vaccine from 1991 that was looking at adverse events in children (not fetuses).

Yah, as I've noted, it's been fishing for attention at AoA as well.

Dr. Paul G. King (chemistry) makes a convincing indictment against thimerosal in a rebuttal of Dr. Stephen Novella: http://dr-king.com/docs/Thimerosal_Causes_Mercury_Poisoning.pdf

This analytical chemist contends that the use of thimerosal in vaccines is technically illegal and causes poisoning the doses uses.

How does one argue with an analytical chemist in this area? This man knows more about mercury toxicity than any one here, and has read all of the pertinent studies.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

I know, we can attack his reputation!

He has been know to associate the the Geiers, right?

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Hm, Annabel Lee mentioned anagrams. And "ackley" is an anagram of "lackey". Sockpuppet again?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Stradlater: Sadly, neither a Ph.D. nor an M.D. is evidence of sanity. (I know this from personal experience as well as articles Orac has posted.) Not to mention that people can pretend to be things that they aren't on the web, or obtain degrees from diploma mills. Which is why a PDF on some guy's website is not admissible as evidence here. If you want to point us to a peer-reviewed publication, some of us might take your claim seriously enough to look at the paper and see whether the claim is justified. Not that a peer-reviewed publication will always be correct, but it's more likely than Some Guy With A Website.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Eric Lund ...neither a Ph.D. nor an M.D. is evidence of sanity. (I know this from personal experience as well as articles Orac has posted.

You shouldn't imply that ORAC is insane here.

If you want to point us to a peer-reviewed publication
Dr. King's rebuttal has footnotes to 180 peer reviewed studies. Nearly every point that he makes is in reference to a peer reviewed study.

but it’s more likely than Some Guy With A Website.
This "some guy with a website" has a Wikipedia page and articles is chemical journals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_G._King

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

He has been know to associate the the Geiers, right?

Dude is a commercial partner with scammers and fraudsters. Sadly, this does reflect upon his reliability.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

He has a Wikipedia page?!
He's in there with Justin Bieber and Dick Tracey.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Well, I am almost done reading his rebuttal and I find his responses very cogent and informed.

He does make a damning case. You should read it!

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

How does one argue with an analytical chemist in this area? This man knows more about mercury toxicity than any one here, and has read all of the pertinent studies.

Easy, said analytical chemist is not a toxicologist and doesn't know jack about mercury toxicity. FFS, I had to stop with his claim that the DT vaccine doubled the cases of polio and used Neil Z. Miller for references. You seriously want to trot this dunderhead out as an expert?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

This man knows more about mercury toxicity than any one here, and has read all of the pertinent studies.

I have co-authored two peer-reviewed papers dealing with mercury neurotoxicity. But Paul King has his own journal. so I guess he knows more.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Meanwhile over on: http://www.anh-usa.org/vaccine-science-is-not-settled-a-critical-review…
That twit "Vaccine Papers" has chimed in with this howler:

Thats a lot of children that did not receive MMR (64/357). Why so many? Could it be because the children were rendered autistic by prior aluminum-containing vaccines, and then parents refused to give the MMR to an already-damaged child? These subjects must be removed from the analysis.

Along with his obsession with healthy user bias.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

I had to stop with his claim that the DT vaccine doubled the cases of polio

Why do you find that hard to believe? There are numerous cases of the Polio Vaccine causing Polio.

Not even the CDC denies the existence of Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6423a4.htm

said analytical chemist is not a toxicologist and doesn’t know jack about mercury toxicity ??????

His MA was in Inorganic Chemistry. This man knows more about Mercury than anyone here. Stop trying to belittle him.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

A. DT vaccine=diphtheria tetanus vaccine. Please reference any evidence you have of that vaccine causing polio.

B. Note comment above by Herr Doktor Bimler re his authoring two papers on mercury toxicity. Please retract your last comment.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Stradlater (not verified)

Why do you find that hard to believe? There are numerous cases of the Polio Vaccine causing Polio.

Do please elaborate how a toxoid vaccine for Diptheria and Tetanus can cause polio.

His MA was in Inorganic Chemistry. This man knows more about Mercury than anyone here. Stop trying to belittle him.

Chemists aren't biologists; he's no expert in mercury toxicity as evidenced by his material.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Stop trying to belittle him.

To paraphrase Narad, we're not trying to belittle King, we're here to spit on point and laugh at you.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Note comment above by Herr Doktor Bimler re his authoring two papers on mercury toxicity.

I'm not making any particular claim to authority here. I mention the co-authorship only to make fun of people who resort to the Argument from Authority.
The real experts were my Brazilian co-authors -- they have the opportunity to study mercury neurotoxicity from various occupational exposures, such as the use of mercury in gold extraction.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

That twit “Vaccine Papers” has chimed in with this howler

I really ought to get around to sending out some E-mails inviting DMCA complaints regarding Dan "Vapor Genie" Steinberg's idiotically pompous piracy hobby.

His MA was in Inorganic Chemistry. This man knows more about Mercury than anyone here. Stop trying to belittle him.

Jesus, I don't even need to read up to the antecedent of the personal pronoun to ridicule belittle this comment.

^ Eh, I missed a vowel, so the Statler comment was a misfire.

I really ought to get around to sending out some E-mails inviting DMCA complaints regarding Dan “Vapor Genie” Steinberg’s idiotically pompous piracy hobby.

How so?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Apologies to the Herr Doktor, I didn't notice your comment about Mercury publications.

I finished reading Dr. King's paper, and I found it convincing. I will quote him as saying: " if the CDC is correct, more than 1
child in 6 is mercury poisoned to the extent that those poisoned children
exhibit one or more of the clinical symptoms of mercury poisoning. "

Does anyone know what he is referring to here? Is there really a CDC document with this ratio of Autism?

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Stradlater (53)

Your friendly anlaytic chemist starts by noting the introduction of a combined vaccine against Diptheria and Tetanus after World War II and notes a roughly 3 fold increase in polio at about the same time frame, and then does a massive Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy to blame the thimerosol in the former on the rise in the latter, with no citations to support causality or even more than a temporal correlation.

Then he does a big aside to gripe about SV40 which was eliminated from the polio vaccines over 50 years ago and is almost certainly not harmful to humans. At least it didn't hurt me and I likely received the contaminated version of the Sabin vaccine.

Then he asserts, again with no citation, that the vaccines infected practically everyone who received them with polio anyway (Gee, I must have been lucky) and just as many people died from the vaccines as from polio itself !?!?!?

After all that, I didnt' bother sifting through another 90 pages of unexplained or supported assertions to see if there might be a coherent syllogism in there somewhere.

He also seems to use mercury poisoning to refer to methyl mercury exposure, which I may have contributed to by donating some cans of tuna to a local food bank, and receiving a tiny amount of thimerosol which isn't even in most vaccines any more.

So, perhaps you can fill in one or two of the blanks.

Do you have any real statistical evidence of a difference in adverse events for people getting their flu vaccine in a multi-dose vial (which does contain thimerosol as a preservative)and those who got it in single dose shots?

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Does anyone know what he is referring to here? Is there really a CDC document with this ratio of Autism?

No there isn't but don't you find it odd that all these "mercury-poisoned" children could be about and no one noticed? Additionally, there has been a natural experiment occurring over the last 15 years which is that thiomersal was removed from paediatric vaccines in the U.S. (earlier elsewhere) and autism prevalence rates continue to rise. Still find Paul convincing? When do you tell me how the DT vaccine caused polio cuz I'd really like to know that.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

This analytical chemist contends that the use of thimerosal in vaccines is technically illegal

Oh, FFS, let's see whether he's as good at lawyering as at mercury toxicology.

Oh, G-d, it's this idiot:

In general, to clearly differentiate between my assessment comments and those of the author, the author's printed statements are quoted in a "Times New Roman" font followed by this reviewer's remarks in an indented“ Nimrod” font.

No, really. This babbling about fonts goes on for some time, as usual.

“Neil Z. Miller is a medical research journalist and natural health advocate. He is a frequent guest on radio and TV talk shows, including Donahue and Montel Williams...."

I think he's just cited Miller's bio, but I'm already getting distracted. No, 21 C.F.R. 610.15(a) is simply a repeated insult to the reader's intelligence; 42 U.S.C. 300aa-27(a)(2) is apropos of nothing, and those seem pretty much to be the sum total. I gave up around two-thirds of the way through because there was no blinking text to break up the rest of the disaster. (Word does that, right?)

Does anyone know what he is referring to here? Is there really a CDC document with this ratio of Autism?

The query would be better directed at the guy with "footnotes to 180 peer reviewed studies', who supports every claim with "reference to a peer reviewed study".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink
I really ought to get around to sending out some E-mails inviting DMCA complaints regarding Dan “Vapor Genie” Steinberg’s idiotically pompous piracy hobby.

How so?

That's "Vaccine Papers." He's hosting a load of copyrighted material.

Stradlater, you really need to get around to learning how to cite actual sources. Those from anti-semetic pig farmers and off-the-rails lawyers (as in not a scientist of any kind) will be heavily mocked. Now when will you also get around to telling me how DT vaccines cause polio or do you think that ignoring long enough will do?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Herr Dokctor he query would be better directed at the guy with “footnotes to 180 peer reviewed studies’, who supports every claim with “reference to a peer reviewed study”.

I should have corrected myself before you did. The 180 footnotes are all for the 3-page chart towards the end comparing symptoms of Autism with that of Mercury Poisoning.

I assumed that the footnotes were for the body of the text, but they are not. There is not way for me to trace some of his assertions.

I am going to read the Kennedy paper next.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

That’s “Vaccine Papers.” He’s hosting a load of copyrighted material.

I figured that's who you were talking about, just didn't know what he did to warrant a DMCA complaint. Please go for it.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

I am going to read the Kennedy paper next.

In other words you aren't reading anything by actual experts, just massaging your own confirmation bias eh?
P.s. mercury toxicity doesn't remotely resemble any autistic features. That's coming from experts, not incompetent numpties like Kennedy, Scudamore and King.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Science Mom

I know how to cite sources. That was obviously not an attempt to cite sources.

It has become common knowledge that the Oral Polio Vaccine causes Polio. Are you really going to make me find a paper on that?

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

It has become common knowledge that the Oral Polio Vaccine causes Polio. Are you really going to make me find a paper on that?

Oh FFS, don't even try that rot. King stated that DT vaccines caused polio and you're defending his drek and calling him "compelling". Well go ahead and defend that statement.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Science Mom ... not incompetent numpties like Kennedy...

Huh?

I keep reading this meme: Four years later, in 1971, Lilly’s own tests
found that thimerosal was “toxic to tissue cells” in concentrations of less than 1 in 1,000,000.

But I cannot find a .pdf of the memo that it is credited to. Does anyone know if a copy of the memo exists online?

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

,Let's first get out terminology straight. Symptoms are subjective - pain, headache, etc. Signs are objective - they are the findings from examination, lab studies, imaging. In popular use they have become interchangeable, but in medical use they are not, or ought not to be.
Here's a quote from a Medscape paper. Medscape is a generally reliable source.
"The symptoms of mercury intoxication are manifold. Patients can present with complaints of numbness, tingling, hearing loss, visual difficulties, gait unsteadiness, and tremulousness, as well as emotional and cognitive difficulties. Obviously, assessing the risk of exposure, which can be acute or long term, is paramount to making a diagnosis." [http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1175560-clinical]. In other words, the symptoms are usually nonspecific, and require grounds for suspicion to cause a practitioner to look for it. The article then goes on to list the presentations of either massive acute or chronic exposure. So claiming that ”... if the CDC is correct, more than 1 child in 6 is mercury poisoned to the extent that those poisoned children exhibit one or more of the clinical symptoms of mercury poisoning" doesn't make any sense on its face.
By the way, just to be nitpicky, if I wanted to know anything about Mercury I'd ask either an astronomer, a space program historian, or a scholar of Latin classics. Questions about mercury are in the line of other kinds of scholarship.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Yah beat me to the Mercury joke, ORD! I was going to say King once did know more about Mercury than anyone here, having taken a vacation there flying coach on an astral plane, but before he could return to Earth he wandered to the wrong side of the orb and got a bit too much sun.

As for Mercury Poisoning, the Rumour has it this guy's the real expert:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zi9QaA5yy0h

Broken link sadmar.

But I bet that it was the Waynes World Bohemian Rhapsody clip!

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Minions:
Here's a Skepticism Begins At Home® quick 3-item test for confirmation bias:
1) Honest now, did you spot the bad-science claim Science Mom used above?
2) Now that I've pointed out there is one, can you identify it?
3) Can you explain why the claim is invalid?

No hints. No cheating. You have a half-hour to complete the exam. Go.

Mercury poisoning can cause behavior abnormalities:

Like the inability to comprehend the difference between Diphteria-Tetanus vaccine and Polio vaccine? Even when this is repeatedly pointed out.

"Mercury poisoning can cause behavior abnormalities"

Which are still NOT autism...

And since you like the old argument from authority, autism assessment was a good chunk of what I did for a living and I worked in a service with a nationally, if not internationally, respected expert on autism...

a Doctor in Toxicology:

I am not familiar with this qualification.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

I know the difference.

Though Dr. King was not being clear, it seems that he was associating the thimerosal in the DT vaccine with an increased rate of Polio diagnosis. He talks about the Salk vaccine in the very next paragraph.

Does anyone know how Polio was diagnosed in the 30's, 40's, and 50's? Is it likely that someone suffering from mercury poisoning would receive a "polio" diagnosis?

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Sorry.

Doctor of Toxicology

By Stradlater (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

Is it likely that someone suffering from mercury poisoning would receive a “polio” diagnosis?

Before sending anyone on a wild goose chase, which symptoms or signs do you feel are most similar between the two conditions, and the likeliest to be mis-attributed?

I know the difference [between DT and polio vaccines].

When Science Mom asked you "Now when will you also get around to telling me how DT vaccines cause polio or do you think that ignoring long enough will do?"

You replied: It has become common knowledge that the Oral Polio Vaccine causes Polio. Are you really going to make me find a paper on that?

The 180 footnotes are all for the 3-page chart towards the end comparing symptoms of Autism with that of Mercury Poisoning.

If two phenomena are the same, a pair of citations is sufficient. 180 footnotes suggests that a great number of very small cherries are being picked.
Only recommended if you are making kirschwasser or maraschino liqueur.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

Late to the party I know.
Stradlater @82: You cited whale.to. I will now invoke Scopie's Law.
In any debate about medicine or science, citing whale.to as a credible source loses you the argument immediately, and gets you laughed out of the forum.
whale.to is the dribbling of John Scudamore. It hosts the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" a plagiarised fake exposed as such even before World War 2, Scudamore's belief that "Satanic Ley Lines" burnt his posterior and that dolphins can levitate and control gravity. If you are relying on whale.to as a source, you are a fool.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

In my defense, I had not visited the home page of whale.to. The paper, written by a toxicologist, was linked through a different site.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

In my defense, I had not visited the home page of whale.to. The paper, written by a toxicologist, was linked through a different site.

Fair enough, that get's him a pass in my book. Carry on :)

#100

That is taking JAQing off to a whole new level...

Seriously? Suggesting that mercury poisoning causes autism is bad enough, but polio?

If only there were some handy way of looking up the signs and symptoms of polio and also mercury poisoning...

I gleaned Dr. Lucier's "monograph" about thiomersal and in spite of his credentials, he falls into the same claptrap as others who buy into the mercury-autism mythos. He misrepresents legitimate analyses and uses EPA exposures. He also compares methylmercury to ethylmercury, pretty sad for a so-called toxicologist.

And now that Stradlater has found the source for King's 1 in 6 children are mercury poisoned, perhaps he'd also like to point out that glaring misrepresentation. Still waiting for DT vaccines causing polio. Put up or retract Stradlater.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

@SM:He also compares methylmercury to ethylmercury

He does this only to establish a reference dose. The EPA has a meHG reference dose but not an etHG reference dose.

Ethylmercury
No toxicity reference values available.
https://archive.epa.gov/region5/teach/web/pdf/mercury_org_summary.pdf

@SM:Still waiting for DT vaccines causing polio
I honestly do not know why Dr. King found it necessary to make that correlation. There were many things that could could have accounted for the increase in Polio diagnosis during the years mentioned besides the DT vaccine.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

meHg ↑
↑ etHg

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

He does this only to establish a reference dose. The EPA has a meHG reference dose but not an etHG reference dose.

That's a poor excuse. Is it all right to use the reference dose for methanol on ethanol?

I honestly do not know why Dr. King found it necessary to make that correlation. There were many things that could could have accounted for the increase in Polio diagnosis during the years mentioned besides the DT vaccine.

So what does that say about King's "expertise"? And that's just one glaring example. How about his 1 in 6 children mercury poisoned figure? Does he represent statistics accurately?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

Stradlater, I'm a Ph.D. in inorganic chemisty, a synthetic chemist. I know a whole heap about mercury's (and other elements') reactivity and properties. That doesn't mean I know a damn thing about its biological activity. The body is a hugely complex reaction system, where what various elements may do is dependant on so many factors that they can't be assessed just by knowing the elements' likely reactivity. I would have to start to read actual experts in that field to learn about it, like anyone else.

And, analytical chemists know less than me about reactions. Analytical chemists study how to detect chemicals, not how those chemicals behave. Development of detection techniques is their field, not knowledge of the reactivity of elements.

So, you need to learn more about how assess an argument, not the credentials of the person who's making it.

As to the grounds for diagnosis of polio in the fifties, I'll ask my dad. He was a med student and intern at U. Pittsburgh in the early fifties, and during his years there the children's polio ward had 300 beds, all of them always filled. That's what he remembers most from med school, actually: the overwhelming number of children so seriously ill with polio, who have now disappeard, due to the vaccine that was developed down the hall from where he worked.

By Garnetstar (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

I would have to start to read actual experts in that field to learn about it, like anyone else.

Clarkson and Magos are first in my mind for this category.

As to the grounds for diagnosis of polio in the fifties, I’ll ask my dad.

This will certainly be interesting, but I'll point out that what is being invoked is the Greenberg Gambit* – based on a transcript from a 1960 meeting of the Illinois Medical Association (if they manage to get that far), biostatistician Bernard Greenberg argued that the effectiveness of the Salk vaccine could not be pinned down precisely because of a change in diagnostic criteria from 1955 to 1959.*

In one of the few useful whale-dot-to entries, Thomas Kavanagh outlines things.

* Yes, I do claim priority.
** I'm too damned uptight at the moment to find it, but I'm pretty sure I've posted at least a link to poor scans of the Illinois Medical Journal PDFs here before, if you search for the magic words.

Damn I'm sick of these people. The way these people catastrophize autism and de-humanize people with it is vomit inducing. I'm on the spectrum and I went to a transition school that was mostly ASD students with a few other behavioral/learning disorder students thrown in as well. We're people. Not chimps, not dogs. We're people. Not that the anti-vaxxers will ever believe that...

Narad:

** I’m too damned uptight at the moment to find it, but I’m pretty sure I’ve posted at least a link to poor scans of the Illinois Medical Journal PDFs here before, if you search for the magic words.

I think I found what you are refering to (although it may be a different scan): The Present Status Of Polio Vaccines (August 1960)

@ScienceMom That’s a poor excuse. Is it all right to use the reference dose for methanol on ethanol?

Not really. First of all, the EPA reference dose is known for methanol. Secondly, Hg is much larger than OH, and the addition of another carbon represents a much smaller change in mass and structure. Hg is toxic in and of itself.

Both meHg and etHg end up in the brain and liver and cause very similar toxicity. People have been poisoned by small amounts of etHg on seeds and rice.

@Narad because of a change in diagnostic criteria from 1955 to 1959.
What I read was that meningitis and coxsackievirus used to be grouped in as polio, but after some time in the late 50's, they were all categorized separately.

Did anyone get the Queen joke?

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

Not really. First of all, the EPA reference dose is known for methanol. Secondly, Hg is much larger than OH, and the addition of another carbon represents a much smaller change in mass and structure. Hg is toxic in and of itself.

Oh good grief.

Both meHg and etHg end up in the brain and liver and cause very similar toxicity. People have been poisoned by small amounts of etHg on seeds and rice.

Oh FFS, that was methylmercury and it's no small amount. They do not have similar toxicity by any stretch. Could you please avail yourself of literature that doesn't involve cranks? Anyone save Bartholomew Cubbins excellent explanation of Burbacher's monkey study? It doesn't seem to be available on his blog any more. Stradlater would benefit greatly if he is actually interested in learning.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

That's the one Troels and thank you very much. I urge Stradlater to watch and learn.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ScienceMom Oh FFS, that was methylmercury and it’s no small amount

No, it was ethyl mercury on the rice:

Ethyl Mercury Poisoning in China: https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2/f?./temp/~PaaLjg:22

This study says that Thimerosal metabolizes into etMg and meHg: Of the total mercury found in the brain after TM exposure, 63% was in the form of Ino-Hg, with 13.5% as Et-Hg and 23.7% as Met-Hg.

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2/f?./temp/~PaaLjg:61

Wow. That is more methyl mercury than ethyl mercury!

I don't think that etHg is as innocuous as you think.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

No, it was ethyl mercury on the rice:

Ok my bad. Did you note the amounts ingested or are you just reading the abstract and getting your knickers all twisted up?

Wow. That is more methyl mercury than ethyl mercury!

I don’t think that etHg is as innocuous as you think.
One of these things is not like the other. Did you note the doses? Did you note this?

Taken together, our data demonstrated that the toxicokinetics of TM is completely different from that of Met-Hg. Thus, Met-Hg is not an appropriate reference for assessing the risk from exposure to TM-derived Hg. It also adds new data for further studies in the evaluation of TM toxicity.

How good is your toxicologist, analytical chemist and lawyer now?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

No, Stradlater, I didn't read anything in your comments that even provoked a grin, much less a reall chuckle.

But since you'd like to toss around pop references, I'll ask, "Did you choose to dial it all the way up to 11, or were you just Born This Way?"

https://youtu.be/wV1FrqwZyKw

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Troels #120 Nice vid!

He did write the formula wrong for ethyl mercury:
CH₃-CH₃-HG

@ScienceMom Your argument does not follow. The author above was comparing thimerosal to meHg, but Dr. King was comparing etHg to meHg

ScienceMom, I think I remember reading your arguments somewhere.....Oh yeah....They come straight out of The Eli Lilly Handbook for Thimerosal Apologists Vol. III

We have at least 3 diseases caused by Mercury Poisoning: Acrodynia, Kawasaki's, and Minamata's. And no ScienceMom, Kawasaki's Disease does not come from riding motorcycles. KD increases with vaccine rates and is more common in fish-eating populations.

After a substantial increase in infants’ exposure to mercury from routine vaccinations, KD immediately rose tenfold over a period of five years (1985-1990). By 1997, KD had increased 20-fold from its initial figure in 1985. Prior to this epidemic increase, the incidence of KD had remained at a fairly low, constant rate for over a decade after the first US case had been recognized in 1975 [72-74].[KD=Kawasaki's Disease]
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23656523_Kawasaki's_Disease_Ac…

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

@SquirrelElite

[Freddy] Mercury Poisoning caused by listening to Queen. As someone that has listened to Bohemian Rhapsody multiple times in succession, I can tell you that it can happen.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ScienceMom Your argument does not follow. The author above was comparing thimerosal to meHg, but Dr. King was comparing etHg to meHg

Oh Dear!

Kawasaki’s Disease does not come from riding motorcycles. KD increases with vaccine rates and is more common in fish-eating populations.

Oh Double Dear! It's amateur epi by VAERS.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kawasaki-disease/basics/c…

No one knows what causes Kawasaki disease, but scientists don't believe the disease is contagious from person to person. A number of theories link the disease to bacteria, viruses or other environmental factors, but none has been proved. Certain genes may increase your child's susceptibility to Kawasaki disease.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X14014340 "Childhood vaccinations’ studied did not increase the risk of Kawasaki disease; conversely, vaccination was associated with a transient decrease in Kawasaki disease incidence. Verifying and understanding this potential protective effect could yield clues to the underlying etiology of Kawasaki disease."

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Johnny (not verified)

Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Fling enough poo at the wall...

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

Yeah, I forgot the sarcasm tag.

Secondly, Hg is much larger than OH, and the addition of another carbon represents a much smaller change in mass and structure. Hg is toxic in and of itself.

This is astoundingly ignorant. You small changes in structure can produce vastly different effects. The example I like to give for this is dextromethorphan or Robitussin. It's sterioisomer is levomethorphan. Robitussin is an antitussive and disassociative; levomethorphan is an opioid analgesic.

Sterioisomers have the same formula and structure, they are just oriented differently. It doesn't matter the size or degree of difference, if two molecules are not identical you can't assume they behave identically. This is neither horseshoes nor hand grenades. I'm disappointed that I have to make this point twice in the same thread.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

I deduced you were referring to Freddy.

A quick perusal of YouTube turns up Adam Lambert, Pink, Beyoncé, as well as 10 Tenors and 4 bassoons, not to mention the Simpsons and the Muppets.

I suffer a mild form of the same effect from hearing the same Pandora playlists as background music at work.

But, more to the point, are the side effects of drinking 2 liters of 5% beer really the same as those from the same volume and concentration of methyl alcohol?

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

In support of the point made by capnkrunch, Thalidomide is a chiral molecule. One enantiomer is therapeutically useful, the other teratogenic. The obvious experiment has been tried, and racemization spoils the clever dick.

By Robert L Bell (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

Not really ignorant at all. Hg with any side group is astoundingly toxic. Both meHg and etHg are dealkylated into inorganic Hg in the brain. The closest thing to etHg is meHg mercury, and the only reason that people compare the two is due to the relative paucity of data on etHg.

You are talking about molecules that have no inherently toxic elements but differ in stereochemisty. I am talking about two alkylated toxic heavy metals.

Did you know that progesterone and THC are isomers?

The only other organic Mercury compound that the EPA has a reference dose for is phenylmercury acetate. This is because it was used in indoor latex paint and represented an environmental hazard. The reference dose for this is half of that for methyl mercury.

Until the EPA has a reference dose for etHg, then the best approximation to use is probably meHg.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

@SquirellElite

Obviously not. The difference in toxicity between ethanol and methanol is much larger (by orders of magnitude) than between etHg and meHg (same order of magnitude).

It is unfair to make this comparison. This is another argument from the Eli Lilly Manual for Thimersal Apologists Vol III

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

I think I found what you are refering to (although it may be a different scan)

Yup. It's also a better scan overall, despite the tint. Thanks especially for finding the link to part 2; I'm not really familiar with this neck of the archive.org woods, as I mainly just use the PACER/RECAP archive.

The toxic nature of ethylmercury has been considered to be fairly similar to that of methylmercury
salts. In the recommendations of the international committee on Maximum Allowable Concentration
for mercury and its compounds, ethylmercury was grouped with methylmercury. Reports on human
intoxication with ethylmercury salts have usually reported symptoms similar to those of methylmercury,
which is accentuated by the typical neurological symptoms, although there have been a few
reports that noted slightly different symptoms from the typical features of methylmercury poisoning.
In acute experiments on animals, ethylmercury has an LD50 similar to that of methylmercury salts and
a high neurotoxicity similar to that of methylmercury. (p. 209–210)
Suzuki, T., Takemoto, T. L., Kashiwazaki, H., and Miyama, T. 1973. Metabolic fate of ethylmercury salts in man and animals. In Mercury,
mercurials, mercaptans, eds. M. W. Miller and T. W. Clarkson, pp. 209–240. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas,

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

This is astoundingly ignorant. You small changes in structure can produce vastly different effects. The example I like to give for this is dextromethorphan or Robitussin.

I take it that this is a response to Stradlater, who is well ensconced in my killfile with the rest of the crew. A more direct observation is that ethylmercury is preferentially nephrotoxic, whereas methylmercury prefers neurotoxicity.

But hey, what's an, erm, "carbon" between moieties?

And from Dr. Fagan: Although Thiomersal is an ethyl
mercury compound, it has similar toxicological properties to methyl mercury and the long-term
neurological sequelae produced by the ingestion of either methyl or ethyl mercury-based fungicides
are indistinguishable.

Fagan, D. G., Pritchard, J. S., Clarkson, T. W., and Greenwood, M. R. 1977. Organ mercury levels in infants with omphaloceles treated
with organic mercurial antiseptic. Arch. Dis. Child. 52:962–964.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

1977? 1973? The cherry-picking is yielding increasingly old and shriveled fruit.

Our friend is currently scraping citations from one of the Geiers' exercises in fraudulent mendacity -- from when they were still on the mercury / chelation grift, before they made the shift to pimping themselves as aluminium Expert Witnesses -- hence the eccentric line breaks in the copy-pasted text.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 06 Aug 2016 #permalink

We have at least 3 diseases caused by Mercury Poisoning: Acrodynia, Kawasaki’s, and Minamata’s.

And surely all of these were likely mistaken for polio as well?

@Stradiater

You write: “There are numerous cases of the Polio Vaccine causing Polio.
Not even the CDC denies the existence of Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6423a4.htm

Prior to the US in 1999 switch to the killed polio vaccine, around six cases per year were attributed to the attenuated oral Sabin polio vaccine. However, prior to the advent of polio vaccines an average of 15,000 or more, mainly kids, were paralyzed every year. While even a single paralyzed child is an immense tragedy, the simple math is 15,000 to 6. And now with the usage of the killed (inactivated) polio vaccine, zero cases have been attributed to the vaccine. Given that prior to the WHO program to eliminate polio close to 400,000 paralyzed cases occurred every year in the Third World, now down to less than 200, the risk of the vaccine causing polio is far outweighed by the benefit. Once the natural virus is no longer found in the environment the WHO will probably start using the killed vaccine. Your choice of the word “numerous” is biased, numerous compared to what, 400,000?

As I wrote in my previous comment, antivaccinationists see the world in black and white. They want a vaccine to be 100% effective and with zero risk. While that would be nice, we live in the real world and the benefits of vaccines outweigh exponentially the risks. Keep in mind that as long as the natural microbes exist anywhere in the world, we are only a plane flight away from vaccine-preventable diseases if we drop our guard, that is, lower our rates of vaccination.

However, I’m glad you pointed out that the CDC openly admits that vaccines are NOT 100% safe which just proves my point that antivaccinationists either don’t bother to actually check and just parrot others or outright lie.

By Joel A. Harris… (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

Oral polio vaccine is still heavily used in areas where polio remains in circulation. In April of this year the vaccine was changed, in a massive coordinated effort, from a trivalent type to a bivalent type that no longer includes the Type 2 strain. This strain appears to have been eradicated from wild circulation and is also the vaccine strain that account for the great majority of the cases of vaccine-associate paralytic polio.

@Stradiater #82

You refer to two papers on mercury. First, mercury is ubiquitous in our environment and many years ago the amount in the environment was much higher than today. Our bodies have evolved to deal with it, that is, as long as the amounts are small. Our bodies can excrete it, sequester it, and transform it. The amount of mercury that was in vaccines (no longer in vaccines except the flu vaccine and one can get thimerosal-free flu vaccine) was less than the mercury found in an average meal of fish. In addition, mercury has a half-life, that is, the body gets rid of half of it, in a short time span, so when kids get shots spaced apart, it is wrong to give the total amount of mercury as if they got it at once. Second, numerous studies have found NO association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. No study, regardless of how well done, is perfect and one can find minor methodological flaws in every study. However, science doesn’t work by one study despite newspapers playing them up and antivaccinationists looking for every possible possible weakness. Science is based on a cumulation of evidence. Causal inference does NOT prove something; but eliminates other possible explanations. For instance, if numerous studies find NO difference between females and males, then one can rule out gender as a possible contributing factor. When numerous studies done by different researchers, in different countries, on different populations, with slightly different designs and measurements, all find NO association between thimerosal and autism, that is STRONG evidence there isn’t one.

By Joel A. Harris… (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Stradiater #90

Yep, 1 in 6 kids have some developmental problem. What exactly does that mean? And has the numbers changed over the past 50 to 100 years? With the reforms to our education system, legislation requiring schools to deal with kids with problems, and with our ever increasing taxonomy of abilities, behaviors, we now notice and diagnose things that would not have been classified only a generation ago. One example is Asberger’s syndrome. It was first added as a classification only about 20 years ago. There have now been cases of men, perhaps women as well, who have sought out and been diagnosed with Asperger’s in their 70s. Did they suddenly develop Asberger’s? Nope. They had always been considered “different” but excelled at jobs such as computer programmers. As Lorna Wing, a well-known British autism researcher, once wrote: “It doesn’t exist until you give it a name.” My paraphrase of what she said. And I know of numerous cases of kids with dyslexia who were labeled slow/retarded. Now we diagnose dyslexia and today’s kids with dyslexia often excel. And on and on it goes.

Your problem is you read something and don't try to understand it. If it conforms to what you choose to believe, that is all that counts

By Joel A. Harris… (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ Joel Harrison, you missed the unintentional comedy Stradlater unleashed using those claims. Cribbing from Paul King he claimed that the DT vaccine caused an increase in polio cases and that 1 in 6 children were mercury-poisoned in spite of finding the original stat on the CDC page. And now etHg is just like meHg because, reasons.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Stradiater #118

You write: “@Narad because of a change in diagnostic criteria from 1955 to 1959.
What I read was that meningitis and coxsackievirus used to be grouped in as polio, but after some time in the late 50’s, they were all categorized separately.”

Yep, what you read. I suggest you actually really do some serious reading. Start by going to your local university library and reading:

Sutter RW et al. (2013). Chapter 28. Poliovirus vaccine—live. In Plotkin SA et al (Eds). Vaccine 6th Edition. Elsevier. pp. 598-645.

You can also find a table on differential diagnosis, that is how various causes of paralysis can be distinguished:

WHO (1996). Field Guide: For Supplementary Activities aimed at achieving polio eradication. 1996 Revision. pp.10-12. Available at: http://www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/resources/Field…

There has been found in the past that a small percentage of cases thought to be polio were caused by other factors, discussed in the Sutter chapter; but the differential diagnosis presented was known and applied prior to advent of the vaccine. I have articles giving the criteria from the 1940s. In addition, serological tests can not only distinguish between polio and other viruses; but between vaccine-caused and wildtype. As I keep writing, this isn’t a perfect world; but the differential diagnosis of polio historically tells us that the vast majority of cases were polio.

Another worthwhile read is: John R. Paul (1971). History of Poliomyelitis. Yale University Press.

One of the key points in diagnosing polio is a paralysis that lasts at least 60 days. Whereas some cases of polio did improve, other viruses more often than not involved shorter periods of paralysis that resolved and the pattern/progression is different.

By Joel A. Harris… (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

Stradlater, everytime you post one of your comments, God kills a puppy. Please stop killing all the puppies.

the addition of another carbon represents a much smaller change in mass and structure. Hg is toxic in and of itself.
Tragic mercury -- Who knew that latex could act like a wick, increasing the surface area of exposure?

Dimethyl mercury, first synthesized in 1865, easily penetrates biological membranes and, in humans, turns into methyl mercury--a former crop fumigant. The World Health Organization outlawed the chemical for use as a fungicide in 1974 after an episode in which it killed 600 people in Iraq.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/1997/06/mercury-poisoning-kills-lab-chem…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Wetterhahn

So, yea; What's an extra methyl amongst eggheads?

@Science Mom #148

Sorry, I'm getting old, can't catch everything. However, if DT vaccine responsible for polio, since DT vaccine continued to be used after polio vaccine introduced, how does Stradiator explain the rapidly decreasing number of cases of paralytic polio? And given that thimerosal has been removed from all but the flu vaccine, how does he explain the 1 in 6 post-thimerosal kids with disabilities?

One last point that he and other antivaccinationists fail to understand is what Paracelsus said 500 years ago: "the dose makes the poison." I am a senior citizen, vegan, and still blood donor, so I take an iron supplement daily. However, though iron is necessary for the body, if I were to swallow the entire bottle I would be in serious trouble. I avoid as much as possible use of any type of medication; but on occasion if I have a headache or really achy muscles I take a couple of aspirin. Aspirin is not a substance that our bodies normally use; but it works. However, if I were to take the entire bottle I would die a rather unpleasant death. Obviously mercury has no known benefit/use by our bodies; but as with just about everything else, our bodies can handle small amounts.

Antivaccinationists often quote papers doing in vitro studies, that is, applying some form of mercury directly to cells. There are numerous papers that discuss problems with in vitro studies. Cells in our body do not work in isolation.

One example is the sulfanilamide's. In the 1930s, German scientist Gerhard Domagyk discovered that a dye which he named Prontosil killed gram positive bacteria in animal studies and then human studies. The first antimicrobial to really work. French scientists later discovered the active ingredient in Prontosil was sulfanilamide. However, as opposed to the standard progression, Domagyk never tested prontosil first on cell cultures. If he had, it would not have worked as the French discovered that the body metabolized it and transformed it to sulfanilamide. So, an in vitro study and we would not have had one of the first effective antimicrobial. Just one example of a problem with in vitro tests.

By Joel A. Harris… (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

"...if DT vaccine (was) responsible for polio, since DT vaccine continued to be used after polio vaccine introduced, how does Stradiator explain the rapidly decreasing number of cases of paralytic polio?"

Well duh, it's because polio cases never diminished, the medical establishment just calls them by other names now.

"And given that thimerosal has been removed from all but the flu vaccine, how does he explain the 1 in 6 post-thimerosal kids with disabilities?"

There's still thimerosal in vaccines, it doesn't matter how few micrograms, a toxin is a toxin, speaking of which how about the aluminum, antifreeze, sucrose, aborted fetal organs and other toxins they never removed?

Joel, at this rate you'll never win at antivax bingo.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ squirrelelite

Jokes aren't always meant to be funny. Whatever Strad's intent, his joke was not funny. You got the reference to Freddy, but not the joke. I'm not sure Strad gets his own joke either. To wit:

Mercury poisoning is likened to the behavior of teenagers listening to Freddy Mercury sing 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Strad refers to this as "behavior abnormalities". The punch-line of the clip is at 1:48 when the riders in the Mirthmobile begin head-banging. Though Queen is a 'glam' band, the kids are nominally part of a heavy metal subculture.

All of which parallels Strads efforts to link thimerosal to ASD, including comparing the symptoms of mercury poisoning to the symptoms of autism.

Thus, the 'joke' is that Wayne, Garth, Terry, Alan and Phil are autistic, as ingesting (Freddie) Mercury leads to the abnormality of head-banging. Which is, of course, the stereotypical signifier of autism-as-blight. At the same time, Strad is characterizing autistics as "abnormal" – "deviating in a way that is undesirable or worrying" – and doing a point-and-laugh at their supposed 'abnormality'.

Funny? No. Disgusting and all too familiar? Yup.

Gilbert--

Lots of people were aware of the sad case of Karen Wetterhahn before you heard of it (assuming that "who knew?" expresses genuine surprise rather than condescension). Has it occurred to you that there is a Wikipedia article about this particular death because it was very unusual?

Can you name three things that you eat, drink, or take as medicine or supplements regularly that have never harmed anyone?

King’s 1 in 6 children are mercury poisoned,

From King's handout or whatever:

Autism is prevalent
• 1 out of 6 children are identified with a developmental disorder and/or behavioral problem

I wrote about this back in 2011. The source for that figure is:

Pediatrics, May 2011
Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children, 1997–2008
Coleen A. Boyle, Sheree Boulet, Laura A. Schieve, Robin A. Cohen, Stephen J. Blumberg, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, Susanna Visser, Michael D. Kogan

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/05/19/peds.201…

From the article linked above:

Participants and Methods: We used data on children aged 3 to 17 years from the 1997–2008 National Health Interview Surveys, which are ongoing nationally representative samples of US households. Parent-reported diagnoses of the following were included: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; intellectual disability; cerebral palsy; autism; seizures; stuttering or stammering; moderate to profound hearing loss; blindness; learning disorders; and/or other developmental delays.

What I wrote at the time:

Screening for and remediating learning disorders are my areas of expertise. I would say the one in six figure (16.6%) is possibly low. Dyslexia is classed as a developmental disability. Some dyslexia experts put the actual prevalence rate at up to 20%.

It would be a great day for children in America if all students were screened for dyslexia at the end of kindergarten, so that appropriate remediation could begin immediately. Of course, instituting such a course of action would mean a rise in both incidence and prevalence. What a terrible thing! Not.

http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2011/11/one-in-six-childre…

Can you name three things that you eat, drink, or take as medicine or supplements regularly that have never harmed anyone?

I meant no condescension, Vicki -- It was not known until the incident. Otherwise; Cannabis, honeysuckle dew, and kaolinite.

You write: “@Narad because of a change in diagnostic criteria from 1955 to 1959.
What I read was that meningitis and coxsackievirus used to be grouped in as polio, but after some time in the late 50’s, they were all categorized separately.”

Recall:

Does anyone know how Polio was diagnosed in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s? Is it likely that someone suffering from mercury poisoning would receive a “polio” diagnosis?

Mercury exits stage left and now "meningitis" and Coxsackie make entrances instead? This is precisely the Greenberg Gambit. (I b0rk3d the earlier link, but Kavanagh even mentions the author of this piece.)

Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children, 1997–2008

I could swear that I've seen a more quantitative figure for diagnosis shedding,* but anyway:

"Finally, although we assumed that many of these conditions are chronic, in fact, a condition may resolve to the point where parents or health care providers may no longer consider the child as having the disorder. Recent evidence [PMID 19805460, PMID 20159870] of this was found for autism, and a longitudinal study showed considerable changes in diagnoses over time for children with physical and emotional or behavior diagnoses. Finally, some children included in the stuttering or stammering or seizures categories may have had transient conditions, resulting in an overestimation of the prevalence of these conditions."

* Ah – probably the second reference, Van Cleave et al., PMID 20159870.

@ Gilbert #151

According to both the Science Magazine and the Wikipedia article, “dimethylmercury had raised her {Wetterhahn’s] blood mercury level to 4,000 micrograms per liter, or 80 times the toxic threshold.” According to Wikipedia on the Iraqi experience with mercury-impregnated seeds: “The seeds contained an average of 7.9 μg/g of mercury, with some samples containing up to nearly twice that. The decision to use mercury-coated grain has been reported as made by the Iraqi government, rather than the supplier, Cargill. . . Anywhere between 20 and 40 mg of mercury has been suggested as sufficient for paresthesia (between 0.5 and 0.8 mg/kg of body weight[9]). On average, individuals affected consumed 20 kg or so of bread; the 73,000 tonnes provided would have been sufficient for over 3 million cases.” (Wikipedia “1971 Iraq poison grain disaster”)

You can find a list of studies on Thimerosal and Vaccines at: http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/cc-thim.htm

And the WHO (2006) states: “Many licensed vaccines do not contain thiomersal. Such vaccines include vaccines in single-dose presentation or vaccines for which thiomersal would interfere with vaccine efficacy such as live vaccines including MMR, oral and inactivated polio, yellow fever, and BCG vaccine. These vaccines, however, when in multi-dose presentations, have to be discarded at the end of the immunization session. Other vaccines may contain trace amounts of thiomersal (<0.5 µg per dose), if the preservative has been used in the production process, but has not been added to the final product. A third group of vaccines have thiomersal added in varying concentrations (10 to 50 µg per dose) as a preservative to prevent contamination with microorganisms when formulated in multi-dose vials. Such vaccines include vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP), diphtheria and tetanus toxoids (DT), tetanus toxoid (TT), hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and influenza.” Available at: http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/committee/topics/thiomersal/questions…

So the highest amount is 50 micrograms per dose. A 1000 times 50 micrograms would be 0.05 milligrams. If you use “between 20 and 40 mg” it is 1/400th. But there is also the route of introduction into the body. Even if an infant received the DTP, hep b, Hib, and influenza, it would be a maximum of 200 micrograms, 1/100th. But they usually don’t get all four at once and, thus, the half life would intervene. And, as I wrote before: “A study of blood levels of mercury following receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccines in premature infants found that the blood half-life of intramuscular ethyl mercury is shorter than that of oral methyl mercury in adults.  Pichichero ME, et al.  Mercury Levels in Premature and Low Birth Weight Newborn Infants after Receipt of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines.  J Pediatr 2009 [PubMed abstract]”

So, despite what the articles said about Wetterhahn it is difficult to know how much she actually got, even possible that the episode mentioned was just the last of several exposures. In addition, referring to the Iraq incident is meaningless as there are many heavy metals and other elements that can kill if exposed to extremely high doses and they were definitely exposed to extremely high doses. If I took the equivalent amount in iron supplements I would be in trouble and if I took the equivalent in aspirin, in real trouble.

I repeat what I wrote earlier, mercury is ubiquitous in our environment. On average, the amount of mercury in fish, especially for those who eat fish on a regular basis, e.g. once per week, would expose infants and children to more than the minuscule amounts that were in vaccines since they have been removed from all vaccines in the US except flu vaccine. I repeat also what Paracelus wrote 500 years ago: “the dose makes the poison.”

You comment is typical for an antivaccinationists, that is, you find something, don’t bother to really research it and try to understand it in context and just post it. No thinking or reflection need get in the way.

By Joel A. Harris… (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

Dimethyl mercury:
In 1972, a 28-year-old chemist in Czechoslovakia had suffered the same symptoms as Wetterhahn after synthesizing 6 kg of the compound.[2][6]

Whackyweedia, I am very disappointed in you.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

Ignore that last comment. Need more coffee.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

Not even the CDC denies the existence of Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus

Not to be confused with VAPP, as it appears to have been here.

Pathetic.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

What ever happened to Mercurochrome??

@Joel all find NO association between thimerosal and autism, that is STRONG evidence there isn’t one.

Untrue. The original Verstraeten study showed a RR of 7.62 for Autism at a dose of >25μg given during the first month of life.

It is obvious that the subsequent revisions to the study were made to attenuate the obvious link between DD and Hg.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

Anywhere between 20 and 40 mg of mercury has been suggested as sufficient for paresthesia (between 0.5 and 0.8 mg/kg of body weight[9]).

This is predictably slovenly W—dia writing* – oral ingestion of 40 mg of elemental Hg (0.003 ml) wouldn't even register. The text cites a personal communication from Clarkson regarding methylmercury.

* With some seeming embellishment.

@Sadmar

Where have I seen your avatar before.....Are you a member of the Lollypop Guild?

By Stradlater (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ Sradiator #168

You write: “Untrue. The original Verstraeten study showed a RR of 7.62 for Autism at a dose of >25μg given during the first month of life.
It is obvious that the subsequent revisions to the study were made to attenuate the obvious link between DD and Hg.”

The original Verstraeten study was a pilot study where he ONLY looked at electronic databases. It was his first study at the CDC. The experts, as I and any one else trained in research, requested he do a random chart audit as it has been found umpteen times that data entry is rife with errors. Based on what was found from the actual medical chart audits, the final report was written. Of course, for antivaccinationists this is unacceptable. However, if the original electronic data base study had found NO association and the subsequent medical chart audit had found one, then, of course, antivaccinationists would support the chart audit. In other words, antivaccinationists ignore established scientific methods and pick and choose whatever confirms their rigid ideology. A pilot study is done, not to find any conclusions; but to hone ones methodology, something I’m sure you don’t understand or don’t want to understand.

# 166 you refer to a paper by Geier. Well, I have several papers by them and I wouldn’t give much credit to anything they write. In several of their previous papers I obtained a number of the referenced articles and, well, I’ll just keep this civil.

By Joel A. Harris… (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

The Geiers believe it is perfectly acceptable to chemically-castrate children with autism....enough said.

How do you explain how the CDC "lost" the data for the Verstraeten Study? Is this just a coincidence?

Many people, myself include, see this as evidence of guilt.

wouldn’t give much credit to anything they write
Have you found any untrue statements in that paper on Thimerosal? Have the Geiers been caught make making false statements?

By Stradlater (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

Maybe it's that time in a young Stradlater's life when someone will explain the purpose of search boxes.

The Geiers?

Yes and yes....which is why the "Doctor" of the two lost all his medical licenses and the other was found guilty of practicing medicine without a license

Seriously, 30 seconds using Google would have given you the answers.

@ Stradiator #173

You write: "How do you explain how the CDC “lost” the data for the Verstraeten Study? Is this just a coincidence?
Many people, myself include, see this as evidence of guilt."

And to what do you base your claim that the data was "lost." I found it was made available to other researchers by the CDC.

For one take on the entire affair, I suggest your read Emily Willingham's article "Is The CDC Hiding Data About Mercury, Vaccines, And Autism?" from Feb 22, 2014 at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2014/02/22/is-the-cdc-hidin…

I could supply additional references; but I doubt you really care about the truth.

@ Lawrence

Good post. A couple of other tidbits about the Geiers:
1. They claim to have a world class lab in their basement.
2. They ran several alternative medicine clinics, so they have a financial stake in their position. Antivaccinationists like to attack people who support vaccines because of "financial interests". Rather hypocritical, wouldn't you say?

By Joel A. Harris… (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Joel

I had already read that Forbes paper complete with notes from Dr. King: http://dr-king.com/docs/20140314_PGK_sRebuttalTo_IsTheCDCHidingDataAbou…

This was CDC's response to an inquiry on the Verstaeten Data: Safety of Neonatal Hepatitis B Administration, we were informed that the CDC spoke with the study’s primary author and determined that the datasets for the study will not be available in a format acceptable for re-analysis. Subsequent communication revealed that the dataset was stored on obsolete media, then it was acknowledged that the dataset had been damaged, and finally it was revealed that the dataset containing the raw data no longer existed.

So first it was damaged, then it was destroyed! I bet it was Eli Lilly himself that took a flamethrower to the microfiche or whatever clandestine obsolete media they used to store the media.

@Joel : Antivaccinationists like to attack people who support vaccines because of “financial interests”. Rather hypocritical, wouldn’t you say?

Maybe for some. Not all antivaccinationists have a financial stake in the matter and are not being hypocritical in the manner you stated above.

You are stereotyping antivaccinationists.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

CORRECTION:

The CDC's response to the Verstraeten study was this: Some VSD final datasets not available

The one above was for the Hep B vaccine obviously.

By Stradlater (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

Gilbert, #167:
"What ever happened to Mercurochrome?"
Back in the '90s, I think it was, when the FDA finally got around to evaluating grandfathered remedies, they found no useful studies of its safety. Because of the very low cost of manufacture and low profit margin, no company wanted to pay for safety testing, and none of them made a fuss when the FDA classed it as "untested" and pulled it from the market. France did the same later.
I have reason to recall that period because a lot of useless crap was swept from the shelves, especially that instrument of torture known as terpin hydrate.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 07 Aug 2016 #permalink

I can't remember for sure, but Tincture of Merthiolate (an alcohol solution of thimerosal) showed up on the Canadian market around the same time or somewhat after Mercurochrome. I certainly remember using both.
There have been many topical antiseptics that were once popular that really were never much good for the intended purpose. To my disgust, there are several products still marketed under the name Methiolate that are different compounds - not that I long for the days of mercury, but I object to reuse of a name for Something Completely
Different.

Somewhere upstream S mentioned the infant deaths associated with application of thimerosal to omphaloceles. Given the strength of the typical preparations (on the order of 20 milligrams per millilitre), and the fact that application to an omphalocele would be not unlike intraperitoneal injection, it is scarcely surprising the outcomes were bad.

Somewhere upstream S mentioned the infant deaths associated with application of thimerosal to omphaloceles. Given the strength of the typical preparations (on the order of 20 milligrams per millilitre), and the fact that application to an omphalocele would be not unlike intraperitoneal injection, it is scarcely surprising the outcomes were bad.

This is antivaccine canon, except that the internal organs hanging out of the body are replaced with "umbilical cords." I haven't read the original paper in a while, but I suspect that this application may not have had an appreciable effect on survival in the first place.

He must have caught it from the mercury in the water. BAN ALL SWIMMING!!!

Seriously, did you know they put CHLORINE in the water in the swimming pool!!! Chlorine "is extremely dangerous and poisonous for all living organisms, and was used in World War I as the first gaseous chemical warfare agent"!!!!!!!!!

#173

Mark Geier: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Geier

Not hard to find if you actually want to look...

The Geiers and Wakefield (who DO have significant financial interests in their anti-vax stances) all fall into the category of if I asked them what colour my black cat is I wouldn't believe them...

@Rebecca Fisher: I heard the announcer say something about "marks on the backs of the swimmers....popular treatment" but I was going to bed and didn't pay a lot of attention. I'm sure there is a lot of woo among Olympians; like all athletes, there is a ton of superstition (wearing the same socks, tying your shoes a certain way, etc) to "insure" winning. It's sad.

add note: I've tried (fire) cupping, out of curiosity. It felt weird, and I didn't like it. The bruises on my back weren't bad as the cups were only on for a few minutes. It certainly didn't "cure" anything. I suppose the heat may have led to some muscle relaxation. The heat itself felt nice (think heating pad) but I didn't like the suction sensation. I wouldn't bother to do it again, and I certainly would never have paid someone to do it.

The main point remains, that hazard was in fact rare.

On your three safe things: try googling "cannabis hyperemesis." The MSDS for kaolinite notes that it is hazardous if inhaled, and gives advice on treatment. Honeydew is probably the safest of the three, but there are people who are allergic to it.

The MSDS for kaolinite notes that it is hazardous if inhaled

Well, yea; So is water.

Hyperemesis rhymes with facetious, which is what I was being. I don't consume any of those things (well, not anymore) -- I'm just a stoner wannabe.

Back to Laura Hayes, she was letting her freak flag fly at AoA this morning:

I also took issue with the statement concerning why Democrats proposed and passed SB277. They had plans to do so years prior, but decided to begin "smaller", with AB2109...then working their way up to SB277. The "Disneyland measles outbreak" certainly seemed like a contrived and purposefully-timed hoax to me, or at the very least, the next "outbreak" opportunity waiting to be seized upon by the vaccine profiteers and their many minions.

The “Disneyland measles outbreak” certainly seemed like a contrived and purposefully-timed hoax to me, or at the very least, the next “outbreak” opportunity waiting to be seized upon by the vaccine profiteers and their many minions.

Because passing legislation is so profitable how?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 08 Aug 2016 #permalink

Because passing legislation is so profitable how?

I bet Big Pharma is paid by the word.

@Gaist

They are certainly paid per vaccine.

And if legislalation sells more vaccines, then, yes! Legislation is indeed profitable.

This is simple logic people.

@monica:

They are certainly paid per vaccine.

And if legislalation sells more vaccines, then, yes! Legislation is indeed profitable.

Do you know what earns more for Big Pharma than two jabs of MMR?
The medication for treating just one case of measles, mumps, or rubella. In fact, it earns several times more.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 09 Aug 2016 #permalink

@monica: reimbursement for an MMR is about $80, for the injection and the medication (which the doctor has to buy, along with the syringes for injection, by the way, so the profit is less than that.) Now, say I get paid $10/hour and I don't get any sick time or vacation time, like most minimum wage earners. So if my child gets the measles, I'm home for at least a week. That's a pay loss of $800 for me and my family. 10 times the cost of the vaccine. That's not counting paying for the doctor visit (we'll be generous and say there is only a $10 copay for that) or an ER visit ($50 copay). If my child needs medications, that's more money. And if my child unfortunately requires hospitalization, that's even more money.

Again, we'll be nice and go low on the fees. My doctor will make $40 from the office visit, $80 for the ER visit. $120 for every daily visit in the hospital because my kid will be in an isolation room.

It's MUCH cheaper for my kid to have the MMR, with the low risks of adverse events, than to have the measles, with a much higher risk.

(By the way, I work for evil health insurance, so I'm quite familiar with the fees allowed, at least the Medicare allowed amounts)

They are certainly paid per vaccine.

And if legislalation sells more vaccines, then, yes! Legislation is indeed profitable.

This is simple logic people.

OMH I thought monica was being sarcastic. What kind of numpty thinks this ^ is simple logic?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 10 Aug 2016 #permalink

In another display of simple logic ( ha!) , AoA's Kim Stagliano wonders why George Takei is not defending anti-vaxxers/ vaccine injured in California, after the new law.
After all, he is a defender of those who are oppressed.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 10 Aug 2016 #permalink

Andrew Wakefield.

We are still hearing that name after all of these years. I would have thought his debarment would have reduced his popularity, but it has not ebbed quite yet.

I would like to speak my mind, but I am unsure of the Libel laws on the web.

By Richard Clarke (not verified) on 11 Aug 2016 #permalink

VAERS website — VAERS Data page:

More than 10 million vaccines per year are given to children less than 1 year old, usually between 2 and 6 months of age. At this age, infants are at greatest risk for certain medical adverse events, including high fevers, seizures, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Some infants will experience these medical events shortly after a vaccination by coincidence.

These coincidences make it difficult to know whether a particular adverse event resulted from a medical condition or from a vaccination.

Do you see the diabolical criminal sophistry?

Some infants will experience these medical events [seizures, death, etc.] shortly after a vaccination by coincidence.

By coincidence?

By Ms. Mia Wallace (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

How is it sophistry? It was once suspected that vaccines cause SIDS. Then researchers at Bristol University looked at the question.
http://research-information.bristol.ac.uk/en/publications/reanalyses-of…

From the abstract of the above report:

"There is no increased or reduced risk of sudden infant death during the period after the vaccination."
Vaccines do not cause SIDS. The question was properly investigated and found to be coincidence.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ Julian and MI Dawn

Monica posted a simple logic-fail, with more complex inference in context, yet I think neither of your replies either expose the logic error properly or refute the hinted-at-claim effectively.

MID's claim that the cost of the MMR is an 'insurance' bargain is simply irrelevant to the question of profits and 'profiteering', as it could be true even if the manufacturer was engaged in outrageous price gouging based on the cost, in which case pro-vax legislation would indeed be 'profitable' to the maker. But MID's point seems valid on it's own, and may have been addressed to monica just because monica's post moved MID to think about it, and it wasn't intended as a rejoinder to monica's claim...

Julian's argument is not just off-target, but dangerous, as it accepts and reproduces the premise of a unified Big Pharma conspiracy. There's no warrant to conclude the companies producing the MMR would be among the firms gaining revenue from "medication for treating measles, mumps, or rubella" – unless the pharmas have some secret profit-sharing deal I don't know about. Furthermore, even if the treatment meds sales went only to the vax manufacturers, the comparison wouldn't be profit from one vaxed kid vs. profit from one sick kid, but profits from all sick kids vs. loss of profits from enough unvaxed kids to compromise community immunity and lead to outbreaks. And, anyway, as a response to monica, the whole discussion begs the question, as there's no indication she's willing to grant that vaccines are indeed necessary to prevent VPDs.

Monica claimed the fact that vaccinations cost money proves they're profitable, therefore legislation that results in more shots being given is necessarily 'profitable' for the manufacturer. The logic flaw is the assumption that sales generate profit, when, of course, some products are sold at cost or at a loss for a variety of reasons. If the MMR does make a profit for its manufacturers, then, taken literally, the claim that legislation resulting in increased vaccinations is 'profitable' for the makers would be true if the price structure stays the same – but it is trivial. The question would be whether the legislation is profitable enough to the MMR makers for them to attempt to use their finite resources toward the costly effort of influencing said legislation, as opposed to spending them on other likely more profitable pursuits.

I can't be sure what monica intended. She might be asserting the MMR makes so much money that Big Pharma buys off legislators to greedily increase already-corrupt profitsmake enough money for Big Pharma. Or she may have taken Science Mom's 'passing legislation is so profitable how?' as a rhetorical question meaning 'legislation never results in profit', considered that absurd regardless of her take on vaccine issues, and just done a spectacularly bad job of expressing that point. Or she may indeed have been attempting sarcasm (I doubt it, but it's possible). In the context of the thread though, the comment is likely to be read as another utterance of the 'profiteering' thesis.

To dismiss the profiteering claim, you must point out that it would depends on evidence that the the specific vaccine in question is so hugely profitable, it's not just a corporate priority for standard sales promotion but a corporate priority for expensive and risky skull-duggery. With neither huge profits or even routine promotion in evidence, the 'profit-motive' argument is a no go.

Then, if you like, you could go on and attempt to utterly refute the claim by providing evidence that the profits from the MMR are not significant enough to it's makers for them to get all worked up about it. For example, you could point out that the vaccine court was established to insure continued production of essential vaccines, as potential liability costs would make the standard vaccine vaccine so economically perilous the pharmas would simply stop makiing them to preserve their bottom line. Of course, AVs would simply reject all your evidence as 'faked' by the great conspiracy, but, presumably, reasonable folks made wary by the sins of 'Big Pharma' in other areas might indeed consider that the 'profiteering' argument doesn't apply to standard vaccines.