Toxic mercury exposure has a wide range of adverse health effects. Currently in the United States there is a public health effort to reduce human exposure to mercury from all sources.

As part of this effort, in July 1999, the U.S. Public Health Service (US PHS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a joint statement formally requesting that manufacturers eliminate or reduce the amount of thimerosal (a mercury-containing compound) in vaccines.

While there is no evidence that any child has been harmed by the mercury content of a vaccine, some parents and health care providers still have questions: What is thimerosal? Why is it in some vaccines? Does it present a risk to children? Is it still in the vaccines that children receive? They should be reassured by the report of the Institute of Medicine's Vaccine Safety Committee, however.


Mercury in Vaccines

This article answers the most frequently asked questions about thimerosal and its use as a preservative in vaccines.

Updated: August 6, 2008 | Read full article...

Thimerosal in Influenza Vaccines

Until recently, thimerosal-free trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) was not available in the United States. TIV is also available both with trace amounts of thimerosal and with thimerosal as a preservative.

Updated: October 22, 2007 | Read full article...

Thimerosal in Vaccines and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes

This article summarizes the differences between methylmercury and ethylmercury and the scientific studies on the alleged association between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Updated: March 6, 2008 | Read full article...

Vaccines and Autism, 2009

This article summarizes the scientific evidence available regarding an association between vaccines and autism.

Updated: February 16, 2009 | Read full article...

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