Florida Legislature Refuses to Limit Mercury in Vaccines

PRNewswire, May 9, 2011

On Friday, May 6, 2011, in Tallahassee, Florida, a Republican State Senator filed an amendment to regulate vaccines containing mercury in Florida. The amendment would have made it illegal to buy, sell, manufacture, deliver, import, administer or distribute any vaccine that contained more than 0.3 micrograms of organic or inorganic mercury per milliliter for children younger than age 7 or pregnant women. Despite support for this vaccine safety measure, the amendment was voted down.

Concern continues that mercury, in the form of Thimerosal, is still used in vaccines at all because mercury is recognized to cause cancer, genetic mutations, miscarriages and birth defects. Today, 2-phenoxyethanol, an economical, less toxic alternative to Thimerosal, has been used as a preservative in some formerly Thimerosal-preserved U.S. vaccines licensed since 2001, because of the 1999 call by the U.S. Public Health Services and the American Academy to remove Thimerosal from U.S. vaccines “as soon as possible.”

This amendment would have afforded pregnant women and young children significant protection from mercury exposure through flu shots, where most doses are still Thimerosal-preserved and are routinely recommended for administration to children and pregnant women.

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