The vaccine and autism debate is as strong and healthy as ever. Both sides are extremely vocal concerning the causes of autism, the efficacy and safety of vaccines and the transmission of communicable diseases.
Many vaccine proponents believe that those who oppose vaccination are uneducated or misguided while those opposing vaccination believe that the ingredients in vaccines make them a hazard instead of a helper to health.
Who is right?
Are vaccine opponents misguided or, even worse, irresponsible for not vaccinating their children? Are there really some ingredients in vaccines that may have cause for concern?
Are there any that can be potentially hazardous to health? Is there any research that might support this idea?
In this post we will take a look at the disturbing connection between a certain ingredient found in many vaccines: aluminum.
Is Aluminum Really an Ingredient in Vaccines?
When you think of aluminum what comes to mind? It's usually a canned beverage or the foil you use to preserve your left overs right?
While you're most certainly correct to think of these products, aluminum is actually a naturally occurring metal found in the crust of the Earth. In fact, it is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust and it is highly reactive. Since it is so reactive, it is never found alone in nature. It usually binds with oxygen, silicon, and/or fluorine.
Although aluminum isn't a very heavy metal, it is extremely strong. With it's unique properties and apparent abundance, it is used in a wide variety of industries like construction, electronics, and pharmaceuticals which includes vaccines.
When discussing vaccines, one must remember that the weakened virus or bacteria is not the only ingredient. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the CDC maintains a list of vaccine ingredients provided by the manufacturer of each vaccine.
When looking over the list, you can quickly see that a great deal of vaccines have questionable ingredients which includes aluminum phosphate or aluminum hydroxide.
Aluminum phosphate has a wide variety of uses in different industries from dyes to aiding in petroleum production. Meanwhile, aluminum hydroxide is primarily used as an antacid to treat heartburn, upset stomach, and indigestion.
Interesting enough, aluminum phosphate is considered to be toxic with mild symptoms ranging from skin irritation to severe symptoms like eye burns and respiratory damage. Aluminum hydroxide seems to be safer in that it is only shown to cause serious eye damage.
Why is Aluminum Used in Vaccines?
So if these chemicals are toxic, or at the very least, irritants, then why is aluminum used in vaccines? This is a very good question. Aluminum is used in many vaccines as an adjuvant.
When vaccines are being manufactured, a number of different ingredients are used to create the final product. Although it may seem like the vaccine being administered to your child is just a vial of sterile water with perhaps a weakened virus or two inside, the reality is very different.
When you get a viral or bacterial infection naturally, the foreign invader or pathogen, gets into the body through various methods. This may be through damaged mucous membranes in the mouth and nose or through the intestines with food breakdown and absorption.
Once inside the body, the immune system recognizes the invader as foreign due to the proteins present on many viruses and bacteria. These proteins are called antigens as they are recognized as not being a part of the body or "Non-self" by the immune system.
When these foreign proteins, or antigens, bind to special defense cells in the body, a seri