Ask a chemist, for all I care

If you ever took an anatomy class in high school or college — or if you ever went to medical school — you will no doubt remember the effects of formaldehyde on body tissues. The long and short of it is that formaldehyde is used to dry out tissues in order to preserve them. The formaldehyde moves into the tissue and the water moves out. So why would you ever want it inside you?

I’ve told you before about how it’s all in the chemistry, and, still, there are some of you out there who read that (I have a way of tracking your IP addresses now) and then wrote on your blogs or tweeted that either I didn’t know what I was talking about, or that Big Pharma was paying me to convince people to “poison” themselves with the formaldehyde in a vaccine.

Poison themselves?

Let’s do another chemistry class. But, first, let’s see what the Food and Drug Administration has to say about formaldehyde in vaccines:

“The body continuously processes formaldehyde, both from what it makes on its own and from what it has been exposed to in the environment. The amount of formaldehyde in a person’s body depends on their weight; babies have lower amounts than adults. Studies have shown that for a newborn of average weight of 6 -8 pounds, the amount of formaldehyde in their body is 50-70 times higher than the upper amount that they could receive from a single dose of a vaccine or from vaccines administered over time (1,2,3).”

And here’s what the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has to say:

“First, formaldehyde is essential in human metabolism and is required for the synthesis of DNA and amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Therefore, all humans have detectable quantities of natural formaldehyde in their circulation (about 2.5 ug of formaldehyde per ml of blood). Assuming an average weight of a 2-month-old of 5 kg and an average blood volume of 85 ml per kg, the total quantity of formaldehyde found in an infant’s circulation would be about 1.1 mg, a value at least five-fold greater than that to which an infant would be exposed in vaccines.”

But I bet you’ll say that they’re paid by Big Pharma too.

So is the field of chemistry paid by Big Pharma? Because any chemist — or student of chemistry — will tell you that we get rid of formaldehyde through a series of chemical reactions in our body, and that those chemical reactions readily eliminate formaldehyde at the levels found in vaccines, or even higher. I mean, there are 28 grams of alcohol in two beers, and the same chemical “factory” in your body gets rid of that in a jiffy. (If you do get “buzzed” from two beers, it won’t last long.)

Then again, based on the stupidity you communicate to the public about formaldehyde and vaccines, you probably will say that big pharma pays for chemistry books, too.

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NVIC: Information that’s not. Exhibit D

I’ve written to you before on how the NVIC (the “National Vaccine Information Center”) should probably take the word “information” off its name. I wrote it here, here, and here. Today, I bring you exhibit D in this lengthy tale of what I consider to be misinformation. (And I’m not the only one that thinks thus.)

I wrote before about how NVIC takes information from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting Systems (VAERS) and presents it out of context and without the disclaimers present in the real VAERS reporting site. In the VAERS data site, you will be told this:

“When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established. Reports of all possible associations between vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS. Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event.”

If this disclaimer is anywhere on the NVIC site that gives you VAERS data, I can’t find it.

So let’s look at Exhibit D. This exhibit is an entry into VAERS that is being touted as evidence of the dangers of the shingles vaccine. When an anti-vaxer is asked to provide evidence that the shingles vaccine is bad, they point to this entry provided by NVIC:

“Between 4:30 PM and 5:15PM, I consumed several alcohol drinks for New Years Eve and became immediately intoxicated. The amount of alcohol consumed has never intoxicated me. My husband drove me home and after arriving home, became dizzy and collapsed on bathroom floor. Bruised hip and top of hand is only injuries. I have never had this happen to me before and feel it was possibly due to the recent vaccination for Shingles that caused this immediate intoxication. The paperwork provided at the time of vaccination did not say you could not consume alcohol within the few hours after receiving it but obviously it had an adverser effect on me.”

Of course! How did modern medicine miss this? Consuming “several alcohol drinks for New Years Eve” and then becoming “immediately intoxicated” must be due to the shingles vaccine. So did the husband become ill too?

“My husband drove me home and after arriving home, became dizzy and collapsed on bathroom floor.”

Maybe it’s just bad grammar. We’re all guilty of that. Or maybe the husband also drank a lot. In any case, the person uses the same excuse I’ve heard over and over from people that have bad things happen to them when they drink: I’ve always been able to control my liquor.

What about that “paperwork”? Did it really not mention alcohol? It didn’t.

Here is the information page from CDC about the vaccine. There’s nothing in it mentioning alcohol.

Here is the package insert from Merck (PDF), the manufacturer. There is nothing in it mentioning alcohol.

I did a search of the literature and found nothing stating that alcohol should not be consumed after having the vaccine.

And then I did a Google search. Nothing. But NVIC will not tell you this. They’ll present this to you, and many other VAERS entries, without any context. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.