Afraid of Vaccines? Have your child suck a stranger’s spit

November 7th, 2011

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This has got to be one of the most bizarre, crazy and just plain disgusting stories I’ve heard in a long time.

Chickenpox is a pretty nasty disease to have. Like most adults, I went through it when I was a child because there was no vaccine at the time. It was pretty misserable, but I was lucky, because despite missing more than a week of school and being covered with an itchy, painful rash, I didn’t have any lasting effects. Some are not so lucky. It’s fairly common to be left with disfiguring scars, especially on the face, from chickenpox (I know a few people with such marks on their cheeks or forehead). It’s less common, though not unheard of to have more severe and lingering effects and occasionally even death.

The virus tends to be less severe in children than adults, there was once a custom of intentionally infecting children with the disease. So-called “pox parties” were held where children intentionally came into contact with others with chickenpox to get the disease when young. Whether exposing children to the disease intentionally was ever a justifiable idea is debatable (most medical experts think it was always a bad idea), but it certainly is not any more. These days, there is a vaccine for chickenpox that is highly effective and avoids the discomfort, suffering, dangers and possible disfigurement of the disease. The vaccine is now part of the normal vaccine schedule and most children receive it. Chickenpox is therefore far less common than it once was.

But what to do if you’re a vaccine fearing idiot? Since the antivax crowd seems to think that getting infections is a good thing and boosts the immune system, a pox party seems like it would be right up their ally. The only problem is that the vaccine has reduced the number of cases of chickenpox enough to make it difficult to find a good pathogen host to infect your kid with. So what to do? Why not use social networking to find other like-minded morons around the world and swap spit by mail with them.

The most popular and widely reported on Facebook group for doing this appears to have been recently shut down, but that’s unlikely to actually stop anyone in the long run.

I’m not even kidding…

Via the Los Angeles Times:

‘Pox parties’: Coming to a mailbox near you?
This week, press reports emerged that some parents, hoping to avoid giving their kids the chickenpox vaccine, were arranging through Facebook to pay strangers to send them “[licked] lollipops, spit or other items” from kids with the illness.

The idea is to expose the kids to the virus to build immunity without having to get a shot.

It’s a lousy strategy, doctors say.

Dr. Wilbert Mason, a professor of clinical pediatrics at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and an infectious disease expert at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said he was “dumbfounded” by the news. “I’m speechless, which will make for a very bad interview,” he told Booster Shots. “How could people be so stupid?”

For starters, he said, sending chicken poxthrough the mail probably won’t work, because the varicella virus needs cells to live in, and there probably would be very few cells in spit or on a used lollipop. “It’s unlikely the virus would survive long enough,” he said.

But more resilient types of infections — dangerous ones — could make it, including hepatitis B, group A strep, and staph germs.

Getting chickenpox “naturally” provides immunity that may be more long-lasting than immunity from the vaccinebut can cause complications. It’s rare, but children with varicella can die if they develop pneumonia or encephalitis, Mason said.

Also, chickenpox blisters often get infected, and if they get infected with invasive group A strep, “it can kill [a child] in hours,” he added.

“The most important risk factor for a child getting that infection is varicella,” he said. “Since we’ve had the varicella vaccine, we’ve seen a decrease in children with invasive group A strep. For me, that’s the most compelling reason to get it.”

Thirty years ago, it was common for parents to bring their kids over to a sick friend’s house to get exposed to chickenpox — maybe that’s why today’s “pox parties” seem like a good option to parents put off by vaccines. Mason likened the practice to playing roulette. “It was not a good idea then, and it’s still not a good idea,” he said.

A few are actually flaunting how stupid they are by telling fellow anti-vaxers about their activities.

Via WNEM, CBS 5:

The Facebook group is called “Find a Pox Party in Your Area.” According to the group’s page, it is geared toward “parents who want their children to obtain natural immunity for the chicken pox.”

On the page, parents post where they live and ask if anyone with a child who has the chicken pox would be willing to send saliva, infected lollipops or clothing through the mail.

Parents also use the page to set up play dates with children who currently have chicken pox.

Medical experts say the most troubling part of this is parents are taking pathogens from complete strangers and deliberately infecting their children.

One concern is that they are sending the virus through the mail.

A Facebook post reads, “I got a Pox Package in mail just moments ago. I have two lollipops and a wet rag and spit.” Another woman warns, “This is a federal offense to intentionally mail a contagion.”

Another woman answers, “Tuck it inside a zip lock baggy and then put the baggy in the envelope :) Don’t put anything identifying it as pox.”

The video on the CBS-5 Website is definitely also worth watching. It includes an interview with one of the parents who is shipping out the spit.

The chickenpox virus may or may not survive being mailed. In most cases, it probably won’t. Still, for those who might not realize this: it is generally considered to be a bad idea to intentionally ingest the bodily fluids of random people you don’t know and meet on the internet. (Granted some people do this for fun, but at least that involves some other benefits.) It’s certainly not a good idea to do it with someone who is infected with a disease and may be carrying other infections. And if they do have any bacteria infections, putting the biological material on a sugary item and placing it in a warm envelope is not going to do anything to prevent that bacteria from multiplying.

In other words: what the hell are these people thinking???

Thankfully, the law seems to be on the side of reason on this issue. It is generally illegal to intentionally send infectious diseases by mail, except under special circumstances, such as properly isolated and prepared laboratory samples, shipped with appropriate bio-hazardous safeguards. Federal prosecutors have made it clear that they are willing to charge those who violate the law.

Via Third Age:

Chickenpox Lollipops By Mail? Illegal, Prosecutor Warns

Parents receiving chickenpox-infected lollipops through the mail are breaking the law, a federal prosecutor tells the Associated Press.

Spurred by reports aired in the past week about parents turning to Facebook to procure items said to be infected with chickenpox, U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin hopes to make it clear that trafficking in infectious diseases is illegal — as well as unsafe.

“If you are engaged in this type of behavior, you’re not only potentially exposing innocent people to dangerous viruses and illnesses and diseases, you’re also exposing yourself potentially to federal criminal prosecution,” Martin told The Associated Press.

According to Martin, it is a federal crime to send diseases or viruses across state lines, whether through the U.S. Postal Service or private services like FedEx or UPS. The same laws that prohibit, say, the mailing the of anthrax also apply to infectious diseases: Offenders, if convicted, could face up to 20 years in prison.

The hubbub comes in the wake of the growing popularity of so-called chickenpox parties, organized by parents in order to expose their children to chickenpox and thereby strengthen their immune systems. As WSMV-TV in Nashville reported Thursday, parents without entree to such events are increasingly turning to internet dealers purporting to sell lollipops, among other items, infected with the chickenpox virus.

I fully expect to hear a lot of whining about how this is more proof that the government and judicial system are firmly in the pocket of the big evil corporations and how they are stopping parents from exercising their rights to do things the “natural” way. The antivaccine groups always seem to have had a persecution complex. Still, I hope that this warning will be enough to stop most from engaging in this illegal, dangerous and disgusting practice, though I’m sure it won’t stop them all.

I suppose the next thing will be swapping contaminated feces to infect children with polio in order to get a “natural” immunity.


This entry was posted on Monday, November 7th, 2011 at 8:24 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Culture, Just LAME, media, Not Even Wrong, Quackery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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41 Responses to “Afraid of Vaccines? Have your child suck a stranger’s spit”

  1. 1
    Benjamin Kay Says:

    Actually you DO have lasting effects from your childhood chickenpox. The herpes zoster virus is still alive in your sensory ganglia and, one day, when you are old enough and your immune system lets down its guard, you will probably get shingles. The vaccine protects against this, but it works best if the child is vaccinated before becoming infected.


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  2. 2
    DV82XL Says:

            Benjamin Kay said:

    Actually you DO have lasting effects from your childhood chickenpox. The herpes zoster virus is still alive in your sensory ganglia and, one day, when you are old enough and your immune system lets down its guard, you will probably get shingles.

    And I can tell you that is no laughing matter.


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  3. 3
    Jason Kobos Says:

    I did all the shots as a child, but I’m pretty sure either me or my brother still ended up with chicken pox. I’d have to check with my parents.

    The herpes zoster virus is part of chicken pox? And it could end up causing shingles later in life.

    Never heard of this before, but i’m young so its at least worth being aware.


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  4. 4
    Anon Says:

    We need to start jailing the anti-vaccination idiots for child abuse because that’s what pox parties are (it wouldn’t be too hard to find them if since they have to give their address out to receive it and even if they use a PO Box or something it’d be a trivial matter for a government to find out who they are).

    As for the chickenpox vaccine, it does reduce the severity of the disease even when it doesn’t prevent (back when it was going through school those who weren’t vaccinated had it much worse than what I went through).

    I do wonder if it’d be possible to send the vaccine through the mail to those idiots (may not be legal but it would be nice if their efforts to avoid the vaccine backfired on them).


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  5. 5
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Jason Kobos said:

    I did all the shots as a child, but I’m pretty sure either me or my brother still ended up with chicken pox. I’d have to check with my parents.

    The vaccine is relatively new. It only was approved in 1995 did not become a standard for most childhood vaccination schedules until a few years later. It’s been widely administered for about ten years, but it varies country to country.

    Also, it’s not 100% effective and there’s some uncertainty about the duration of the immunity.

            Jason Kobos said:

    The herpes zoster virus is part of chicken pox? And it could end up causing shingles later in life.

    Never heard of this before, but i’m young so its at least worth being aware.

    Yes. The chickenpox virus is the Herpes Zoster virus. It never leaves your system. When you get over chickenpox it just means the virus has become dormant and your immune system keeps it in check. It continues to infect your skin nerve cells.

    Shingles is what happens when the virus starts to become active and symptomatic again. It is a rather nasty condition with painful blisters and swelling. It can also produce local paralysis and hearing loss. That can be permanent.

    It can happen if the immune system is weakened by stress or some other factor. It most often happens in later adulthood, but it can happen at a fairly young age in some cases. I have a friend who had a nasty case of shingles when she was only in her early 30′s. She suffered some hearing loss because of it.


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  6. 6
    Will Says:

    I truly hate seeing stuff like this, it reminds me of fundies that let their children die because it’s somehow an affront to god to give them medical care. The assault on reason and rational thinking just hurts…

    I think the 9th Doctor said it best: “Stupid apes”.


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  7. 7
    Massimo C Says:

    Here in Italy this practice is also done, not really parties. But can happen that an infected kit is let to play with a friend so the frient too can “do” varicella.
    However I don’t know how this is spread among people and at what degree is intended specifically to infect the other kid or is simply made to let an infected kid to be with his friend(s) to avoid the sadness of being hill and the infection of the friend is considered a sort of bonus.

    By the way I had varicella when I was a kid but I don’t remember I was intentionally exposed or being allowed to play with friends while contagious.


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  8. 8
    Anon Says:

            Will said:

    “Stupid apes”.

    That’s an insult to apes.


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  9. 9
    Matte Says:

            DV82XL said:

    And I can tell you that is no laughing matter.

    Actually, it is! As long as it does not happen to you.
    Sorry DV82XL, I am evil…


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  10. 10
    Sigivald Says:

    To amplify what others said or implied, before the vaccine existed, deliberate infection of children was standard practice – because you sure as hell wanted to get chickenpox as a child rather than as an adult.

    I suspect a good deal of the very moderate “resistance” to the vaccine is nostalgia or “it was good enough for me” from the parents.


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  11. 11
    Juums Says:

            Benjamin Kay said:

    Actually you DO have lasting effects from your childhood chickenpox. The herpes zoster virus is still alive in your sensory ganglia and, one day, when you are old enough and your immune system lets down its guard, you will probably get shingles. The vaccine protects against this, but it works best if the child is vaccinated before becoming infected.

    Is it sad that I read “sensory ganglia” as “sensory genitalia”, and immediately thought that it’d make for an amusing euphemism?

    “Hey baby, my sensory probe needs to erect itself and you look like a fine place to do it.”


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  12. 12
    Gordon Says:

    Swapping spit with people you meet online to get a natural immunity? Just when I think they can’t come up with anything that will surprise or disgust me anymore…

            Sigivald said:

    I suspect a good deal of the very moderate “resistance” to the vaccine is nostalgia or “it was good enough for me” from the parents.

    With that mentality you can stop any kind of progress.

    Pretty much all aspects of medicine were inferior when I was a child to what is available now. Of course, in my case it was “good enough” because I didn’t die, but there were those who did die because of conditions that were untreatable at the time but could be treated now.

    Of course it can still get better and we should welcome any new discoveries and developments that make it better. Until all disease and suffering is forever gone, it’s never “good enough” and can always get better.


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  13. 13
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Massimo C said:

    Here in Italy this practice is also done, not really parties. But can happen that an infected kit is let to play with a friend so the frient too can “do” varicella.
    However I don’t know how this is spread among people and at what degree is intended specifically to infect the other kid or is simply made to let an infected kid to be with his friend(s) to avoid the sadness of being hill and the infection of the friend is considered a sort of bonus.

    By the way I had varicella when I was a kid but I don’t remember I was intentionally exposed or being allowed to play with friends while contagious.

    I remember quite clearly having it. It was absolutely miserable. It took about a week during which time my entire body became covered with painful and itchy sores. They were itchy but when scratched they really hurt. I could not be comfortable because no matter how I sat or laid down I was always sitting on, rubbing some of the rash. I would lie in the bathtub with a bath additive that was soothing to skin to get some relief.

    They were everywhere, yes, everywhere and really was not pleasant. One thing I distinctly remember was I bided my time playing on the Nintendo until I got a sore on my thumb and it hurt to use the controller.

    After the infection let up, the pimples popped and scabbed over but it was another couple of weeks before they all healed. Until that time they still itched and stung. It was really a horrible experience, but I do think my reaction was probably a bit worse than average.


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  14. 14
    MikeC Says:

    And besides – the Onion survey confirms that sharing toilet seats is much more effective – http://www.theonion.com/articles/chicken-pox-lollipops-ineffective,26588/

    :D


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  15. 15
    Anon Says:

            Sigivald said:

    I suspect a good deal of the very moderate “resistance” to the vaccine is nostalgia or “it was good enough for me” from the parents.

    It isn’t just with vaccines where that kind of thinking exists.


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  16. 16
    Fixx Says:

    Massimo C:
    “I suspect a good deal of the very moderate “resistance” to the vaccine is nostalgia or “it was good enough for me” from the parents.”

    Actually, unless I’m mistaken, the resistance to vaccines stems from a mercury compound used as an anti-bacterial agent in multiple use vials of vaccines. The compound in unnecessary in single dose vials but that increases the cost of production. Unfortunately the debate on this has become highly polarized clouding the real issue of mercury in vaccines. The debate shouldn’t really be about whether vaccines are good or bad it should be about the quality of commercial products that we inject directly into our bodies.


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  17. 17
    Anon Says:

            Fixx said:

    Actually, unless I’m mistaken, the resistance to vaccines stems from a mercury compound used as an anti-bacterial agent in multiple use vials of vaccines.

    Actually the people who opposed vaccines just used a mercury based compound (which wasn’t even harmful in the doses that would be received or even in some of the vaccines they opposed) as an excuse not to get it.

            Fixx said:

    The compound in unnecessary in single dose vials but that increases the cost of production. Unfortunately the debate on this has become highly polarized clouding the real issue of mercury in vaccines.

    They removed that compound from vaccines (there was concern that it could reach regulatory limits (which are themselves set rather low) with multiple doses), hasn’t done anything to improve health (since it was never a problem) or shut up the idiots.


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  18. 18
    Vader Says:

            Anon said:

    We need to start jailing the anti-vaccination idiots for child abuse

    We don’t need to convince a jury that this constitutes child abuse. We only need convince a jury that these people willfully sent a dangerous human pathogen in regular unmarked mail, a serious felony.


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  19. 19
    Anon Says:

            Vader said:

    We don’t need to convince a jury that this constitutes child abuse. We only need convince a jury that these people willfully sent a dangerous human pathogen in regular unmarked mail, a serious felony.

    True, though they do things far worse than that (and not all of them will end up mailing germs).


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  20. 20
    fixx Says:

    Anon:
    They removed it from children’s vaccines (not vaccines for adults).

    WRT to dangers from the doses: The data was actually lacking so they really had no idea. Some were comparing it to a similar compound (methyl mercury) which was known to be very dangerous. Of course these are two different chemicals and can’t be compared because of apparent similarity. Real data is the only way to know. It may be available now.

    While I agree some peolpe are against injections in general, I disagree that the current controversy did not stem from the fact that they contained mercury.

    Why would anyone, considering the amount of mercury we are already potentially exposed to, want to expose themselves to more?


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  21. 21
    Anon Says:

    Methyl Mercury is very different in its effects on people (i.e. actually being highly toxic).

    Much of the current controversy stemmed from an ambulance chaser (who was then suing vaccine companies) paying Andrew Wakefield for a study showing vaccines causing autism (there is a lot of overlap between anti-autistic bigotry and the anti-vaccine movement).


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  22. 22
    thomas Says:

    I can’t find a link to the actual law, but it appears that mailing diseases across state lines is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. I hope these idiots get slammed.

    The people who request it are unfit to be parents.


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  23. 23
    Jason Kobos Says:

    What really doesn’t make sense if if these parents are so afraid of what is inside the vaccine, what are they not more afraid of what is on that sucker they just got in the mail that they are forcing their kid to put in their mouth?

    Botulism, e-coli, anthrax, hepatitis? I’m not sure all of these can get transmitted this way, but things of similar nastiness could.

    If it is even slightly possible that something bad could be in the samples then they should be on the street protesting this act. Yet, they make websites promoting it.

    Its all just crazy logic and fear.


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  24. 24
    drbuzz0 Says:

            fixx said:

    Why would anyone, considering the amount of mercury we are already potentially exposed to, want to expose themselves to more?

    Well, it never was “mercury” as such, but a small amount of an organomercury compound called thimerosal. That which is not excreted right away breaks down to ethyl mercury, which generally is excreted by the liver and not terribly toxic in the levels we’re talking about, which would be micrograms or less.

    Of course, we’re really not exposed to much mercury these days. There have been a lot of efforts to banish any traces of mercury from any consumer products and the major man made source, coal burning, has been pushed further from our cities than in the past, although it is still a significant contributor to levels in the biosphere.

    Exposure to mercury (and all heavy metals) was extremely high by modern standards during the industrial revolution and into the 20th century.


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  25. 25
    I'mnotreallyhere Says:

    Just a thought Steve, but you might want to quickly edit that picture of the Facebook page and pixelate the names and faces of people posting.

    But I think we’re all agreed that this is a pretty dumb idea. Not really close to being the worst thing ever thought up by parents for their children but foolish nevertheless. As usual, it’ll never be policed either, which I can agree with purely on the basis of there being better places to spend limited resources.


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  26. 26
    Anon Says:

    I see no problem with publicly shaming the idiots involved in this (and they put themselves out there in the first place).

    As for policing it, if they don’t make an example of someone (preferably a few people) over this (and do it very publicly) then they’d be pretty much saying parents can hurt their children however they want (not that we’re not already saying that).


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  27. 27
    fixx Says:

    From the MSDS:

    Potential Acute Health Effects:
    Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Slightly hazardous in case of eye contact (irritant).
    Severe over-exposure can result in death.
    Potential Chronic Health Effects:
    CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.
    TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. The substance may be toxic to
    kidneys, liver, spleen, bone marrow, central nervous system (CNS). Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated exposure to a highly toxic material may produce general deterioration of health by an accumulation in one or many human organs.


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  28. 28
    drbuzz0 Says:

            fixx said:

    Anon:
    They removed it from children’s vaccines (not vaccines for adults).

    It is still allowed in vaccines. There has never been any regulatory action to prevent it. It’s not present because most vaccines now come in individual sealed doses. That makes it unnecessary, since they are sterile and sealed. It’s present in vaccines that are not individually sealed. The flu shot is an example, because it’s often given in clinics where it’s drawn from the same vial. Also it’s often present in various special and nitch injectable medications like antivenin and things like that.

            fixx said:

    From the MSDS:

    Potential Acute Health Effects:
    Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Slightly hazardous in case of eye contact (irritant).
    Severe over-exposure can result in death.
    Potential Chronic Health Effects:
    CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.
    TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. The substance may be toxic to
    kidneys, liver, spleen, bone marrow, central nervous system (CNS). Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated exposure to a highly toxic material may produce general deterioration of health by an accumulation in one or many human organs.

    What are you talking about? Thimerosal?

    You might want to check out some other MSDS’s for various substances. For example, phosphoric acid – it’s corrosive, a potent skin irritant and will burn your digestive tract if you ingest it. Oh, it’s also a food additive and used in many soft drinks.

    Of course, it’s not present full strength. That would tend to make a huge difference. That would be the case with many things, actually.


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  29. 29
    fixx Says:

    Buzz:

    “There has never been any regulatory action to prevent it.” – You may want to check this fact because that’s not what I read. And if you are right then that is really too bad.

    “What are you talking about? Thimerosal?” – yes this is an except from a MSDS for Thimerosal. That is what we are talking about isn’t it? Not soft drink ingredients. I’ve seen plenty of MSDS’s and am quite familiar with how to read them. For instance I know what “not available” means – it means they don’t know for sure what it does.

    BTW Phosporic acid is also not injected into your body.

    Of the mercury compounds the organomercury compounds are the most toxic.

    Read the MSDS and ask yourself if this is something you would want to inject into your body.

    I also have issues with your statement about less exposure to mercury in modern days. I presume you were using the amount in ice cores which is a record of atmospheric mercury. Which has been on the deline in the last few years but still higher than 50 years ago. Also this does not represent the amount of mercury the population is exposed to other than through the atmosphere. If you are using another source to come to your conclusions I would like a reference if you can find it.


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  30. 30
    Anon Says:

    The dose makes the poison, why can’t people seem to understand that?


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  31. 31
    DV82XL Says:

            fixx said:

    BTW Phosporic acid is also not injected into your body.

    However you would not drink it in a concentrated solution. The Material Safety Data Sheet for Thimerosal is intended to provide information for the safe handling of the material in bulk and in high concentrations. One cannot simply combine the MSDS of the components of a product to make any determination about safety. If one existed, you would have to show the MSDS for the vaccine itself.

            Anon said:

    The dose makes the poison, why can’t people seem to understand that?

    Because they are stupid.

    Look this nit-wit makes the statement that he is familiar with MSDS, yet he goes on to show that he has no grasp at all of how the system works, or how the document should be used.


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  32. 32
    Anon Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Because they are stupid.

    You tend to speak the truth a lot around here, good to see you continue to do so.


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  33. 33
    drbuzz0 Says:

            fixx said:

    BTW Phosporic acid is also not injected into your body.

    It’s one of the many things I would not mind having injected into my body in microgram quantities, diluted with several mililiters of fluid.

            fixx said:

    I also have issues with your statement about less exposure to mercury in modern days. I presume you were using the amount in ice cores which is a record of atmospheric mercury. Which has been on the deline in the last few years but still higher than 50 years ago. Also this does not represent the amount of mercury the population is exposed to other than through the atmosphere. If you are using another source to come to your conclusions I would like a reference if you can find it.

    It’s not just the air. In the late 19th and early 20th century, people living in industrial countries were awash in heavy metals. By modern standards, they would all have been considered to be in a constant state of mild heavy metal poisoning.

    Lead was the primary component of nearly all solder including the seals of food cans. Especially with acidic foods, there was signifficant leaching and absorbtion. For most people who only ate a portion of their food from cans, it was not enough to show much acute effect, but it may well have killed some who ate entirely canned food. (it has been speculated that this is what doomed the Franklin’s lost expedition). Lead was used in nearly all paints, in cosmetics and other products.

    There were any number of products that contained mercury. Mercury was very common in various patent medicines and in preperations for infections. It was actually given as a treatment for syphylus. The amounts given for syphylus were more than enough to show effects of toxicity and this was known, but considered to be preferable to the symptoms of the disease, which the treatment did reduce signifficantly. Mercury nitrate was used in the process of producing felt and conciquently, people walked around with clothing with high levels of mercury on it. It was also used by jewlers to disolve gold and silver and there was little control over contamination of the final product with mercury residue. It was also a component of paint and widely used without much protection in various industries.

    There are others. Arsenic was used in many pigments, in producing textiles, in various other products. The same with cadmium.

    That’s simply how the world was at one time. People were exposed to what we would consider to be enormous doses of heavy metals on a fairly regular basis.


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  34. 34
    Massimo C Says:

    Being afraid of mercury in the vaccines is like to being afraid of chlorine in table salt…


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  35. 35
    Massimo C Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    I remember quite clearly having it. It was absolutely miserable.

    I still have a little scar to remember me varicella. I remember that the only thing prevented me to scratch myself to death was the menthol talc powder. It helped a lot with the itch.


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  36. 36
    fixx Says:

    Buzz:

    That is a fine list of examples where mercury was used but mercury is also currently still used in consumer products which are much more widely distributed now. I was looking for something more like hard data to support the claim that exposure to the general population is less. I have no doubt that the average modern person is exposed to less than that of hatter from the old days but that is not the kind of information I am curious about.

    This is the only actual data I could find on the subject of mercury exposure:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mercury_fremont_ice_core.png
    It is showing that the rate of deposition into the environment was increasing massively from 1950 to about 1980. But this is not a measure of current concentration in soil, food and water let alone exposure to the population.

    Anon:

    Of course the dose makes the poison. Especially of something that is part of normal biological functions. The comparison to table salt is not relavent. If not a part of biological functions then any amount is not good, but it’s just a case of having observable consequences. Factors like other routes of exposure and inherant weakness in the organs that process the poison are variable from person to person and affect the level that is poison to them.


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  37. 37
    drbuzz0 Says:

    I’ve read about how high mercury levels in humans were once fairly common but I haven’t seen any good data in terms of analysis of human remains, which I think would provide the best indicator. I’ve seen some data on a few scattered examples of analysis of mercury levels in bones of various vintages, but what I’d really like to find would be some good data on analysis of different samples from a range of dates.

    If such data exists, I’d love to see it. Anyone know of any such information?


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  38. 38
    Anon Says:

            fixx said:

    Of course the dose makes the poison. Especially of something that is part of normal biological functions. The comparison to table salt is not relavent. If not a part of biological functions then any amount is not good, but it’s just a case of having observable consequences.

    If we can’t detect any effect then it’d be too small to worry about compared to the ones which we can detect, much better to spend our resources on things we can actually prove will help.


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  39. 39
    fixx Says:

    I’m guessing this won’t work a direct link but go to the site and look up Thimerosal then click on toxicity. There is a list of the studies done.

    http://chem.sis.nlm.nih.gov/chemidplus/ProxyServlet?objectHandle=DBMaint&actionHandle=default&nextPage=jsp/chemidheavy/ResultScreen.jsp&ROW_NUM=0&TXTSUPERLISTID=0000054648

    Then go here:
    http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/ld50.html

    And you will see that with an LD50 of 75mg/kg in rats Thimerosal is classified as moderately toxic according to the first table and very toxic according to the second table.


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  40. 40
    fixx Says:

    This discussion inadvertently shifted onto another thread. I won’t transfer all the posts because quite frankly it is mostly a lot of repetition from both sides of the argument. I will transfer some “new” information I found:

    Mr Buzz:
    - I did not argue this point since my organic chemistry is a little weak but I suspected this from what I do understand of chemistry and biology. But I finally decided to track down a little evidence:

    ” Though inorganic mercury metabolized from ethylmercury has a much longer half-life in the brain, at least 120 days” – Clarkson TW, Magos L (2006). “The toxicology of mercury and its chemical compounds”. Crit Rev Toxicol 36 (8): 609–62. doi:10.1080/10408440600845619. PMID 16973445

    - Your assumption that it is irrelevant that mercury is present in the compound because it is a compound is simply wrong. The metabolite ethyl mercury is further metabolized to inorganic mercury. In other words the mercury (at least some if it anyway) does not stay bound to the ethyl mercury before it is excreted from the body. Note the date on this study, 2006, interesting eh?


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  41. 41
    http://hydrocollagenantiaging.com Says:

    I hardly comment, but i did a few searching and wound up here
    Depleted Cranium Blog Archive Afraid of Vaccines?

    Have your child suck a strangers spit. And I do have
    a couple of questions for you if it’s allright. Is it just me or does it look like some of these responses appear as if they are written by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing on additional social sites, I would like to follow everything new you have to post. Would you list of every one of your communal sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?


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