NIAID-supported studies at the University of Rochester and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, assessed levels of mercury in the blood, hair, urine, and stool of 40 infants who received vaccines containing thimerosal and 21 infants who received vaccines without thimerosal as part of their routine immunization schedule. The infants studied were 6 months of age or younger. This study generated the following important results:
These results suggest that there are differences in the way thimerosal and methyl mercury are distributed, metabolized, and excreted. Thimerosal appears to be removed from the blood and body more rapidly than methyl mercury.
Pichichero ME, Cernichiari E, Lopreiato J, and Treanor J. Mercury concentrations and metabolism in infants receiving vaccines containing thimerosal: a descriptive study. Lancet 360:1737-1741 (2002).
NIAID conducted a follow-up of the Rochester study in Argentina with 216 newborns and infants. The purpose of this study was to:
Results confirmed findings of the first study done at the University of Rochester.
Pichichero ME, Gentile A, Giglio N, Umido V, Clarkson T, Cernichiari E, Zareba G, Gotelli C, Gotelli M, Yan L, Treanor J. Mercury levels in newborns and infants after receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccines. Pediatrics 121(2):e208-214 (2008).
NIAID conducted an additional study in Argentina that focused on 72 premature (32 to 37 weeks gestational age) and low birth weight (2,000 to more than 3,000 grams) infants.
Findings from the study indicate
Pichichero ME et al. Mercury levels in premature and low birth weight newborn infants after receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccines. J Pediatr. 2009 Oct;155(4):495-9. Epub 2009 Jun 26.
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Last Updated December 09, 2009