Aluminum from vaccines exceeds WHO safety level

Here I explain the simple calculation that shows why the amount of aluminum in vaccines exceeds the WHO safety level.

How much aluminum is safe?

Aluminum is a neurotoxin; at high enough doses, the toxic effects of aluminum show up primarily in the brain.

This is why the FDA set a limit of 25 mcg/l of aluminum in Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) products. The limit was set based on a 1997 study of premature neonates. Those fed by TPN (for 10-20 days) with a high-aluminum product scored lower on the Bayley Mental Development Index than those fed a low-aluminum alternative.

Most of our knowledge about the dose-response effects of chronic aluminum exposure comes from animal studies. Aluminum is added to food or drinking water and the animals are tested for adverse events, primarily neurodevelopmental.

Based on a survey of these animal studies, the WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) established a Provisional Tolerale Weekly Intake (PTWI) level for humans. Their 2011 report set the oral intake safety level at 2 mg/kgbw (having previously been 1 mg/kgbw, and before that 7 mg/kgbw).

There is no safety level for aluminum in vaccines. The FDA sets a limit of 850mcg per vaccine dose, but this limit is based on efficacy, not safety. A safety level for aluminum in vaccines would need to consider that multiple doses of different vaccines are given simultaneously and doses are repeated in close succession in infancy.

The JECFA safety level

In the absence of a safety level for aluminum in vaccines, the best we can do is use the WHO / JECFA oral intake safety level as a guide. We know that gut bioavailablility of aluminum is only 0.1%-0.3%. A diet at the JECFA oral safety level contains 2000 mcg/kgbw per week, or 300 mcg/kgbw/day. So that equates to 0.3-0.9 mcg/kgbw/day entering the blood.

We can take the top end of this range and call this the WHO / JECFA uptake safety level. If there is more than 0.9 mcg/kgbw of aluminum entering the bloodstream each day, there is a risk of adverse neurological effects. For an average-weight male infant, this equates to 3.2 mcg at birth, up to 9.2 mcg at 12 months old.

How much aluminum is in vaccines?

Using the CDC schedule, the total amount of aluminum in vaccine doses given in the first six months of infancy is 3,450 mcg. The largest single amount of 1,225 mcg given at 2 months old. The DTaP alone contains 625 mcg, and is given at 2, 4, and 6 months old.

How does this compare to exposure from diet and air?

In my previous post, I explained the calculation of aluminum exposure to infants by source. The infographic below shows that when bioavailability is factored in, vaccines are by far the biggest source of aluminum exposure in infants: up to 98%.

Aluminum Uptake in Infants

What happens to the aluminum?

Vaccines are administed intramuscularly; they do not enter the bloodstream immediately. The aluminum is in the form of a salt, usually aluminum hydroxide. It is believed that all the aluminum salt dissolves slowly at the injection site. Once dissolved, the aluminum ions bind to transferrin in the bloodstream. Eventually, all the aluminum in the vaccine enters the bloodstream.

To calculate how much aluminum enters the bloodstream each day from vaccine injection sites, we first assume that all the aluminum dissolves (as opposed to being carried away by macrophages). Then we must estimate the rate and order of the absorption process. We have two animal studies that we can reference for this. Flarend (1997) calculated that 17% of aluminum hydroxide was absorbed in the first 28 days after IM administration. Weisser (2019) calculated that 22% was absorbed in the first 80 days.

Assuming a zero-order process, these results mean 0.6% (Flarend) or 0.3% (Weisser) is absorbed per day. Full absorption would then take 165 days (Flarend) or 369 days (Weisser). Flarend and Weisser both found that aluminum phosphate (used in the Pneumococcal vaccine) is absorbed about 3x faster than aluminum hydroxide.

Daily uptake exceeds the JECFA safety level

Based on the absorption data from Weisser, we can plot how much aluminum enters an infant’s bloodstream each day from their vaccine injection sites. We can compare it to the WHO / JECFA safety level. In the chart, the safety level for an average-weight male infant is shown. Uptake from diet (breast milk for six months, followed by semisolid food of average aluminum content) and air is also shown for comparison.

Daily Aluminum Uptake by Source vs JECFA Safety Level

We can see that daily aluminum uptake jumps up to 5.1 mcg/day after the 2-month shots, exceeding the safety level. It peaks at 11.2 mcg/day after the 6-month shots, when aluminum is entering the blood from six previous vaccine shots. For most of infancy, the uptake from vaccines alone exceeds the WHO / JECFA safety level. It is considerably worse for underweight infants.

All vaccinated infants are being exposed to aluminum at doses that risk adverse neurological effcts. This is an urgent safety issue that is being ignored by the authorities responsible for vaccine safety.