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Minamata Convention Agreed by Nations: thimerosal containing vaccines exempt from mercury ban

Posted Jan 22 2013 2:34pm

Shot of Prevention are reporting Decision Made: No Global Ban on Thimerosal . A worldwide treaty has been finalized involving reducing mercury in the environment. Much discussion of late focused on whether thimerosal containing vaccines (thimerosal being a mercury compound) would be included in the mercury ban.

According to the United Nations Enviromntal Programme (UNEP) press release on the Minamata Convention:

Governments approved exceptions for some large measuring devices where currently there are no mercury-free alternatives.

–Vaccines where mercury is used as a preservative have been excluded from the treaty as have products used in religious or traditional activities

–Delegates agreed to a phase-down of the use of dental fillings using mercury amalgam.

From my perspective I would be happy to see thimerosal replaced with another safe preservative. There is no tested alternative method–either through preservatives or improved cold-chain control of vaccine distribution. And this U.N. body, people highly focused on the need to reduce the worldwide emissions of mercury, has determined that the use of mercury containing vaccines can continue. In other words–the arguments made that thimerosal containing vaccines were potentially unsafe were not convincing to a body whose sole purpose is limiting exposure to mercury. This includes the argument that thimerosal containing vaccines increase the risk of autism. And for this site, that is the important take-away: the notion of a mercury induced autism epidemic really isn’t well supported. Yet another example of how unconvincing the argument is.

By Matt Carey

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