Freedom of Information Act Documents

Rumack Email to FDA Regarding Thimerosal Mercury Modeling

Now, let’s debate the burden vs. blood level information. I realize that most of the work being reported relates to blood levels but that does not mean it is correct. The blood levels simply reflect some of the body burden and we do not really know the distribution. The actual toxicity of Hg is not from the amount in blood but rather the amount in tissue. In my work with Hg and other heavy metals I have been impressed with the need to understand that burden.

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CDC and FDA private discussions regarding thimerosal in vaccines

I still don’t think we are using the data on “permissible” methyl mercury exposure levels to property assess risk. The whole Issue of relating what we’re giving in vaccines to their impact on blood and tissue levels of Hg rather than relating them to the chronic exposure standards of ATSDR, EPA, etc. seems to have not been something that we have been able or willing to delve into. Until we do that, I don’t think we’re analyzing the situation appropriately.

“The risks of not vaccinating high-risk children far outweigh the unknown and probably much smaller risk, If any, of neurodevelopmental effects posed by exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines.” How can you say this if it is unknown? While the risks of not immunizing children may be clear, the risks of thimerosal are uncertain – your statement is too strong. (Sinks)

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Leslie Ball, FDA – No Safe Level of Mercury

Above all, it is important to emphasize the odglnal intent of the FDA calculations. The purpose of these calculations was to determine whether infant exposure to ethyl mercury exceeds established guidelines for exposure to methyl mercury. They were not intended to serve as maximum exposure limits, the manner in which the CDC is now using them. These were meant to be preliminary calculations based on the most conservative assumptions (meaning maximum possible exposure to thimerosal in the first 6 months of life). We appreciated that there would be alternate (and perhaps better) approaches.

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Mercury Modeling Conducted by Barry Rumack

Graph and Tables: Ethyl mercury body burden after thimerosal injections vs. methyl mercury oral suggested limits.

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Email from Ruth Etzel, USDA, to Her Colleagues

As you know, Public Health Services informed us that they were planning to conduct business as usual, and would probably indicate no preference for either product. While the Public Health Service may think their “product” is immunizations, I think their “product” is recommendations. If the public loses faith in PHS recommendations, then the immunizations battle will falter. To keep faith we must be open honest now and move forward quickly to replace these products. Short-term shortages may occur.

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