Exposure to mercury and aluminum in early life: developmental vulnerability as a modifying factor in neurologic and immunologic effects.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Feb ;12(2):1295-313. Epub 2015 Jan 23. PMID: 25625408
José G Dórea
Currently, ethylmercury (EtHg) and adjuvant-Al are the dominating interventional exposures encountered by fetuses, newborns, and infants due to immunization with Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs). Despite their long use as active agents of medicines and fungicides, the safety levels of these substances have never been determined, either for animals or for adult humans—much less for fetuses, newborns, infants, and children. I reviewed the literature for papers reporting on outcomes associated with (a) multiple exposures and metabolism of EtHg and Al during early life; (b) physiological and metabolic characteristics of newborns, neonates, and infants relevant toxenobiotic exposure and effects; (c) neurobehavioral, immunological, and inflammatory reactions to Thimerosal and Al-adjuvants resulting from TCV exposure in infancy. Immunological and neurobehavioral effects of Thimerosal-EtHg and Al-adjuvants are not extraordinary; rather, these effects are easily detected in high and low income countries, with co-exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) or other neurotoxicants. Rigorous and replicable studies (in different animal species) have shown evidence of EtHg and Al toxicities. More research attention has been given to EtHg and findings have showed a solidlink with neurotoxic effects in humans; however, the potential synergic effect of both toxic agents has not been properly studied. Therefore, early life exposure to both EtHg and Al deserves due consideration.