Vaccine critics often cite specific ingredients in the vaccines as their chief concern. As Leart pointed out in an article here several days ago, sometimes these alleged dangerous ingredients aren’t even really in the vaccines.
Of course, more often than not, vaccine critics manage to at least point to ingredients that actually are in the vaccines. One such “toxic” ingredient popularly cited as a reason vaccines aren’t safe is formaldehyde.
In the body, formaldehyde can cause proteins to irreversibly bind to DNA. Laboratory animals exposed to large doses of inhaled formaldehyde over their lifetimes have developed more cancers of the nose and throat than are usual, as have workers in particle-board sawmills… Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as a known human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. More hazardous than most chemicals in 5 out of 12 ranking systems, on at least 8 federal regulatory lists, ranked as one of the most hazardous compounds (worst 10%) to ecosystems and human health (Environmental Defense Fund)
And Dr. Jay Gordon, pediatrician to the stars, told Cookie Magazine he wants formaldehyde out of the vaccines:
Right now we’re creating vaccines using ingredients that are cheap preservatives, but it could be done better. It means, let’s see if we can get the aluminum out of them. Let’s see if we can get the formaldehyde out of them. Let’s see if we can produce them in a way that makes a little more sense for safety.
The implication is clear. Formaldehyde, among other ingredients, is not safe. But then why is it used in the first place? Well, for starters, as surgical oncologist and medical blogger Orac explains, formaldehyde is merely used in the vaccine manufacturing process, and can only be detected in trace amounts at most in the vaccine itself by the time it is available to the public. According to Orac:
You breathe more formaldehyde sitting in an L.A. traffic jam in your Mercedes (or whatever no doubt highly expensive care you drive, thanks to credulous patients like Jenny McCarthy) than is in any vaccine. The plastic products and varnishes in your house produce more.
Additionally, critics like Dr. Gordon fail to cite reputable data demonstrating the dangers of formaldehyde in the trace amounts that might remain in vaccines after production. This claim that formaldehyde in vaccines is particularly dangerous is simply asserted and then repeated again and again as dogma. And when asked to produce the requisite supporting data, vaccine critics have been less than forthcoming.
And Jay Gordon isn’t the only prominent figure openly opposed to formaldehyde in vaccines. Dr. Robert Sears suggests it’s harmful in his book in the same paragraph he admits he has no basis for that assertion:
Vaccines also have some other chemicals (such as the neurotoxin aluminum and the carcinogen formaldehyde). Research hasn’t shown that the amount of chemicals in vaccines poses any risk to babies, but it is an exposure nonetheless.
So his point is the fact that something is there means that it’s there and, in the absence of any other available information beyond that, it’s perfectly reasonable to invent callous assertions based solely on one’s personal biases and superstitions.
Of course the biggest flaw in the criticism against this awful “carcinogen” is explained by Infectious Disease specialist and medical blogger Mark Crislip. Crislip points out that the amount of formaldehyde in vaccines is less than what our bodies produce as part of normal biochemistry in the course of a day.
Paradoxically, vaccine critics tend to chastise practices they regard as “unnatural” in favor of consuming substances they regard as “natural.” Yet, when it comes to natural substances that happen to exist in trace amounts in a vaccine like mercury, aluminum, or substances like formaldehyde that are even naturally produced by our own bodies, suddenly it simply must be bad for us…even when there is no data to support that notion.
One would think that any rational human being, especially a medical professional, when confronted with the fact that our bodies produce greater quantities of formaldehyde than found in vaccines, in addition to the lack of data showing harm, would conclude that either the formaldehyde in the vaccines is probably reasonably safe ,or we’re all doomed from the start, whether we vaccinate or not.