Tag: formaldehyde

A Call to Poison Control About Vaccines

Why do some parents think that you might want to call poison control about your child’s vaccines?

Don't believe the anti-vaccine copy pasta about a call to poison control over vaccine ingredients.

Maybe because anti-vax folks think that all vaccine ingredients are toxins…

A Call to Poison Control About Vaccines

Of course, they aren’t, but that doesn’t stop folks from sharing the above story about the “call to poison control.”

Is the story true?

Of course not.

How can I be so sure?

Well for one thing, that’s not the original version of the “call to poison control…”

Don't believe the anti-vaccine copy pasta about a call to poison control over vaccine ingredients.

Apparently, this “friend” has been posting the poison control story for several years now.

Don't believe the anti-vaccine copy pasta about a call to poison control over vaccine ingredients.

In fact, the “call to poison control” is actually a pretty well known anti-vax copy pasta…

Don't believe the anti-vaccine copy pasta about a call to poison control over vaccine ingredients.

Wait, what? Copy pasta?

Yeah. Arguments or stories that people save and repeatedly copy and paste into online forums.

And as you are now suspecting, copy pasta is considered a form of spam…

In fact, this “call to poison control” copy pasta first appeared in 2017 and after going viral in anti-vax circles, it was clearly debunked – with a real call to poison control.

So what would happened if you called poison control with this kind of story?

“My question to you is how are these ingredients categorized? As benign or poison? (I ran a few ingredients, formaldehyde, Tween 80, mercury, aluminum, phenoxyethanol, potassium phosphate, sodium phosphate, sorbitol, etc.)”

As someone who has called poison control (1-800-222-1222) in the course of caring for his patients more than a few times, I can tell you that the conversation would go a lot differently than the copy pasta anti-vaccine story line.

Before answering your “benign or poison” question, the experts at poison control would want to know a little more information about why you were actually calling.

Did a child accidentally get a hold of one or more of these chemicals? After all, if a child somehow got a hold of elemental mercury and inhaled any of it, that could be a medical emergency.

Call poison control if your child takes too much k-phos.

The same with potassium phosphate and sodium phosphate.

Even sorbitol.

Well too much sorbitol likely isn’t a medical emergency, unless your child is a diabetic, but it will likely cause a lot of diarrhea.

And when they found out that you were talking about vaccines?

Poison Control answered the vaccine safety question - way back in 2010.
Poison Control answered the vaccine safety question – way back in 2010.

They would likely nicely tell you that vaccines are not toxic.

“Thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative, is found in some vaccines in very small amounts. (Mercury in vaccines has not been associated with human poisonings).”

Chelation: Therapy or “Therapy”?

And that the ingredients in vaccines are not toxic.

“With mercury, as with other toxic substances, the amount of the substance that reaches target organs determines whether or not someone will be poisoned. To determine how much mercury is in someone’s body, blood levels are measured in cases of short-term, large exposures to mercury vapor. In chronic exposures, urine levels are measured to assess the likelihood of mercury poisoning. The fact that a substance can be measured in a person’s body fluids does not necessarily indicate poisoning.”

Do Fillings Cause Mercury Poisoning?

And they would likely be very nice about it, because they are very nice people, even as they likely get these types of questions a little more than they should.

More on Vaccine Ingredients

Fact Checking What Kids Receive When They Are Vaccinated

A new post is being shared in anti-vax groups that includes two trays of syringes and a long list of scary sounding chemicals, implying that they are all ingredients in vaccines. And that an infant would get them all at a single well child visit.

If you have seen the post and it has you wondering whether or not you should vaccinate your kids, open your eyes! This is classic anti-vaccine propaganda.

Fact Checking What Kids Receive When They Are Vaccinated

How do we know it’s propaganda?

Let’s begin with the fact that these vaccines have been drawn up for more than one child.

We know that because there is no situation in which a child would get 10 separate injections at one time. Even if a toddler was completely unvaccinated and was looking to get started and caught up on his missed vaccines all at once, he wouldn’t get 10 separate injections.

In fact, most of the time, thanks to combination vaccines, infants only get two or three injections at a time.

This post is also easy to recognize as anti-vaccine propaganda because of the way they describe ingredients of vaccines.

  • 2-phenoxyethanol – works as a stabilizer or preservative
  • aluminum(neurotoxin)
  • fetal bovine serum(aborted cow blood) – used as a growth media to provide nutrients to viruses and is removed from the final vaccine
  • formaldehyde(carcinogen, embalming agent) – formaldehyde in vaccines is not carcinogenic because “carcinogens do not cause cancer at all times, under all circumstances”
  • gelatin – (ground up animal carcuses) – a stabilizer that is formed from the connective tissue of certain animals, usually pigs
  • albumin – (human blood) – most vaccines are now made with recombinant albumin, anyway it is just albumin, a protein, that is in the vaccine, not “human blood”
  • monosodium L-glutamate(causes obesity & diabetis) – another stabilizer
  • MRC-5 cells(aborted human babies) – descent cells that have a “distant association with abortion” are mostly removed from final vaccines
  • neomycin –  (antibiotic) – used to prevent bacteria from growing while the vaccine is being developed and is removed from the final vaccine
  • polymyxin B – (antibiotic)
  • polysorbate 80(carcinogen) – an emulsifier that “helps ingredients mix together and keep them from separating.”
  • potassium chloride – (used in lethal injection)
  • potassium phosphate – (liquid fertilizer agent)
  • sodium bicarbonate – (baking soda)
  • sodium borate – (Borax, used for cockroach control)
  • sodium chloride – (table salt)
  • sodium citrate – (food additive)
  • sodium hydroxide – (Danger! Corrosive)
  • sodium phosphate – (toxic to any organism)
  • sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate – (toxic to any organism)
  • sorbitol – (Not to be injected)
  • streptomycin – (antibiotic)
  • sucrose – (cane sugar)
  • yeast protein – (fungus) – used as a growth medium and removed from the final vaccine
  • urea – (metabolic waste from human urine) – helps to improve temperature stability of some vaccines, but does not come from human urine!
  • other chemical residuals

Although they went out of their way to make them sound scary, it is important to understand that these ingredients are not toxins, at least they aren’t in the doses used in the vaccines.

And while chemicals like potassium phosphate and sodium hydroxide might indeed sound scary to some people, it is also important to remember that we routinely and safely use chemicals every day. As they listed, sodium chloride is table salt!

What about their list of “studies” that followed their list of ingredients? They are easily refuted too – just think cherry picking, VAERS, case reports, and more VAERS.

Basically, the whole post is a collection of PRATTs – anti-vaccine points refuted a thousand times!

Don’t fall for this kind of propaganda anymore.

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary.

More on Anti-Vaccine Propaganda

Learn the Risks of Falling for Anti-Vaccine Propaganda

If you are on the fence or hesitant to vaccinate your kids, it might not be easy to recognize that the vaccine information that you get on some sites is pure propaganda.

That’s unfortunate, because you can’t make an informed choice about vaccines if you are basing that decision on misinformation.

Learn the Risks of Falling for Anti-Vaccine Propaganda

Take the infographic about the number of vaccine doses children in the United States normally get.

From the 1960s to today, propaganda about vaccine doses is meant to scare you from making an information decision about vaccinating your kids.
From the 1960s to today, propaganda about vaccine doses is meant to scare you from making an information decision about vaccinating your kids.

It is designed into making you think that kids get 72 doses of vaccines, scaring you and trying to reinforce the myth that kids get too many vaccines.

Have you seen and fallen for that trick? Did you ever think to actually count the total vaccine doses they list? As you can see above, it doesn’t come out to 72 doses

But why do  they do it? If they really think their “vaccines contain toxic chemicals” argument is convincing, then would it matter if the number of vaccine doses was 11 or 53 or 72? Why inflate it to make it wound scarier?

Still, however you want to count the number of doses of vaccines kids get today, one thing is crystal clear –  they get protection from more vaccine-preventable diseases.

In 1983, kids may have only have gotten 11 doses of vaccines, but many still died from Hib pneumonia and meningitis, epiglotitis (Hib), pneumococcal pneumonia and meningitis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rotavirus, chicken pox, and meningococcemia, etc.

“for those trained in pediatrics in the 1970s, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) was a horror.”

Walter Orenstein, MD

Today, unless you decide to skip or delay your child’s vaccines, they are protected from these diseases.

What about the flu? Kids still die with the flu, but it is important to keep in mind that most kids who die with the flu are unvaccinated.

That’s why it is important to get your kids vaccinated. Don’t take the risk of following bad advice.

What to Know About Learning the Risks of Anti-Vaccine Propaganda

It is important to to learn the risks of falling for anti-vaccine propaganda – leaving your kids unvaccinated, unprotected, and at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases.

More on Learning the Risks of Anti-Vaccine Propaganda

Can Vaccines Cause Cancer?

We know that several vaccines can prevent cancer, including the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines and hepatitis B vaccine.

A cancer treatment vaccine, Provenge, has also been approved by the FDA to treat metastatic prostate cancer. Others are in development.

What Causes Cancer?

It seems like everything causes cancer, doesn’t it?

Did you see the media reports about coffee?

“Cancer is a complex group of diseases with many possible causes.”

American Cancer Society on What Causes Cancer?

Some of the most common causes of cancer include:

  • genetic mutations
  • smoking and tobacco
  • heavy alcohol use
  • unprotected exposure to UV rays in sunlight
  • infections

Fortunately, we can protect ourselves from many of these common causes of cancer.

Can Vaccines Cause Cancer?

Vaccines don’t cause cancer, but that doesn’t stop anti-vaccine websites from saying that they do.

“Cancer is part of our new normal. One in two men and one in three women will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetimes. But it’s not just adults. If you can’t bring yourself to focus on this topic for you, please do it for your children.”

Louise Kuo Habakus (Fearless Parent) on Do Vaccines Cause Cancer?

Cancer can definitely become part of your “new normal” if you or a friend or family member gets diagnosed.

National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program cancer statistics.
National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program cancer statistics.

Fortunately, cancer rates have been stable, with declining mortality rates. In children, cancer rates have been rising, but only slightly, and nothing like the boom in rates that some folks describe.

Anti-vaccine folks promote the idea that more people are sick, more people have cancer, and in general, everyone is unhealthy, because it fits with their idea that vaccines are dangerous for everyone.

How do they link vaccines and cancer?

They often push the idea that vaccines cause cancer because the original polio vaccines were found to be contaminated with SV40, or simian virus 40. SV40 has not been linked to cancer though.

What about formaldehyde?

Some vaccines contain formaldehyde and formaldehyde is carcinogenic, so how can you say that vaccines don’t cause cancer?

While some vaccines do contain formaldehyde, remember that it is also naturally found in our bodies.

“Carcinogens do not cause cancer at all times, under all circumstances.”

American Cancer Society

It is the long-term exposure to high amounts of formaldehyde, usually inhaled formaldehyde, that is the big concern. Those most at risk would be workers who might be exposed to inhaled formaldehyde. The small amount of formaldehyde in vaccines is safe and does not cause cancer.

Another anti-vaccine talking point? Misusing vaccine package inserts to make you think that vaccines aren’t properly evaluated for mutagenicity and carcinogenicity.

“To ensure the safety of new vaccines, preclinical toxicology studies are conducted prior to the initiation of, and concurrently with, clinical studies. There are five different types of preclinical toxicology study in the evaluation of vaccine safety: single and/or repeat dose, reproductive and developmental, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and safety pharmacology. If any adverse effects are observed in the course of these studies, they should be fully evaluated and a final safety decision made accordingly. ”

M.D. Green on the Preclinical Toxicology of Vaccines

They are.

Vaccines are safe and necessary. They don’t cause cancer.

What to Know About Vaccines and Cancer

Several vaccines can prevent cancer and there is even a vaccine that can treat cancer. Vaccines don’t cause cancer though.

More on Vaccines and Cancer