Dear DR Mike,
I try and protect my children. But, I don’t like giving them things that are bad for them. I don’t vaccinate my babies because of the aluminum in the vaccines.
Karen. C

Dear Karen, 

As a parent, I totally agree in the concept of “protecing our children”. I also share your concern for placing metals in our children’s bodies. But, here are some actual facts about aluminum (and vaccines).

Aluminum is a naturally occuring metal. It is found in the food we eat, the water we drink and even in the air we breath. It is found in approximately 10% of the earth’s crust. We are surrounded by aluminum.

The reason aluminum is used in vaccines is to stimulate the body’s immune response (adjuvant) to the vaccine itself. It has been used for more than 70 years, and has an excellent safety record.

In the first 6 months of life, infants receive about 1 milligram (1/1000 of a gram) of aluminum from their vaccines. During that same period, they will have consumed 10 milligrams of aluminum from breast milk, 40 milligrams of aluminum if formula fed or 120 milligrams if fed soy formula. As you can see, infants receive 10-120x of aluminum from their diet than they do from the vaccines themselves.

Amount (milligrams) of aluminum that infants receive in their first 6 months of life
Vaccines 1
Breast milk 10
Cow based Formula 40
Soy Formula 120

Once aluminum is absorbed into the bloodstream by any means, it is bound to a protein called transferrin. Transferrin takes the aluminum to the kidney to be disposed of. The healthy kidney takes 50% of aluminum out of the body in 24 hours, 75% within two weeks, and the reminder can take up to 3 years to be totally disposed. The aluminum not disposed of by the kidney accumulates in the bones, lungs and brains. By the time we are adults, we have about 50 milligrams of aluminum stored in us. The predominance of that aluminum is from the food we have eaten.

Babies normally have approximately 5 nanograms (1 billionth of a gram per 1 ml of blood) of aluminum in their bloodstreams because they get it from breast, formula, or soy. What is interesting is that even after vaccination, their blood levels DO NOT change.

As we grow up, we are exposed to a number of aluminum containing foods and products:

Microwave popcorn
Salted snacks
Hot cocoa mixes
Coffee creamers
Pickles and relish
Baking powder 
Self rising flower

Many body lotions and cremes
Most cosmetics
Shampoos and conditioners
Suntan lotions
Lip Balm

You can see that aluminum is a naturally occuring metal and is commonly found in our daily lives. It is also used to enhance our immune response to a vaccination. The amount of aluminum in a vaccine is a very small percentage of the aluminum found in breast milk or infant formula. It is disposed of by healthy kidneys. 

If we really are serious about decreasing the amount of aluminum in our children’s bodies, we should begin with the foods we/they eat and the products we expose them to as they grow up. By not vaccinating our children, we do very little to affect their aluminum levels, and, in fact, leave them vulnerable to deadly diseases waiting to pounce on their innocent bodies. 

Source: CDC and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia