Aluminum adjuvants are used in vaccine manufacturing to "stimulate" the immune system. The presence of aluminum adjuvants has been associated with injection-site reactions such as nodules, granulomas and erythema. aluminium adjuvants may lead to the syndrome macrophagic myofascitis, a histological finding where aluminium-containing macrophages infiltrate muscle tissue, and may be accompanied by a clinical syndrome of myalgia, arthralgia and fatigue. A systematic review of controlled safety studies reported that vaccines containing aluminium produce more erythema and induration than other vaccines in young children (up to 18 months of age), and greater local pain in older children (10–18 years).Animal and human studies have shown that aluminum can cause nerve cell death  and that vaccine aluminum adjuvants can allow aluminum to enter the brain, [2,3].
References:1. Kawahara M et al. 2001. Effects of aluminum on the neurotoxicty of primary cultured neurons and on the aggregation of betamyloid protein. Brain Res. Bull. 55, 211-217
.2. Redhead K. et al. 1992. Aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines transiently increase aluminum levels in murine brain tissue. Pharmacol. Toxico. 70, 278-280.
3. Sahin G. et al. 1994. Determination of aluminum levels in the kidney, liver and brain of mice treated with aluminum hydroxide. Biol. Trace. Elem. Res. 1194 Apr-May;41 (1-2):129-35.
Subsequent purification processes that remove organic compounds take away many of the same compounds that bind the element in its free state, further increasing aluminum concentration.
All metals can cause disease through excess, deficiency, or imbalance.3 Malabsorption through diarrheal states can result in essential metal and trace element deficiencies. Toxic effects are dependent upon the amount of metal ingested, entry rate, tissue distribution, concentration achieved, and excretion rate. Mechanisms of toxicity include inhibition of enzyme activity and protein synthesis, alterations in nucleic acid function, and changes in cell membrane permeability.
No known physiologic need exists for aluminum; however, because of its atomic size and electric charge (0.051 nm and 3+, respectively), it is sometimes a competitive inhibitor of several essential elements of similar characteristics, such as magnesium (0.066 nm, 2+), calcium (0.099 nm, 2+), and iron (0.064 nm, 3+). At physiological pH, aluminum forms a barely soluble Al(OH) 3 that can be easily dissolved by minor changes in the acidity of the media.2
Up to this time, no biological function has been attributed to this metal, and, more importantly, aluminum accumulation in tissues and organs result in their dysfunction and toxicity.2 Aluminum is absorbed from the GI tract in the form of oral phosphate-binding agents (aluminum hydroxide), parenterally via immunizations, via dialysate on patients on dialysis or total parenteral nutrition (TPN) contamination, via the urinary mucosa through bladder irrigation, and transdermally in antiperspirants. Lactate, citrate, and ascorbate all facilitate GI absorption. If a significant load exceeds the body's excretory capacity, the excess is deposited in various tissues, including bone, brain, liver, heart, spleen, and muscle. This accumulation causes morbidity and mortality through various mechanisms.
Aluminum causes an oxidative stress within brain tissue. Since the elimination half-life of aluminum from the human brain is 7 years, this can result in cumulative damage via the element's interference with neurofilament axonal transport and neurofilament assembly. Some experts believe it plays a role in leading to the formation of Alzheimerlike neurofibrillary tangles.
Aluminum also has a direct effect on hematopoiesis. Excess aluminum has been shown to induce microcytic anemia. Daily injections of aluminum into rabbits produced severe anemia within 2-3 weeks. The findings were very similar to those found in patients suffering from lead poisoning.
Aluminum may cause anemia through decreased heme synthesis, decreased globulin synthesis, and increased hemolysis. Aluminum may also have a direct effect on iron metabolism: it influences absorption of iron via the intestine, it hinders iron's transport in the serum, and it displaces iron's binding to transferrin. Patients with anemia from aluminum toxicity often have increased reticulocyte counts, decreased mean corpuscular volume, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin.
Other organic manifestations of aluminum intoxication have been proposed, such as a slightly poorer immunologic response to infection, but the mechanism by which it exerts its effect is complex and multifactorial.
Aluminum has been exempted from tesitng for safety by the FDA under a convoluted logic wherein it is classified as GRAS. (Generally Regarded As Safe.) It has never been tested by the FDA on its safety and there are NO restrictions whatever on the amount or use of aluminum.
There are over 2000 references in the National Library of Medicine on adverse effects of alumium. The following were extracted to provide a small sample of the range of toxicity of aluminum.
From: Am J Kidney Dis (1985 Nov) 6(5):348-52
... many questions still remain unanswered, it is clear that aluminum causes a microcytic hypoproliferative anemia and is a factor responsible for worsening anemia in patients with end-stage renal disease.
Arch Dermatol (1984 Oct) 120(10):1318-22
Three patients had subcutaneous nodules at the sites of previous injections of vaccine containing tetanus toxoid, showed aluminum crystals in the nodules from two patients. From the evidence available, we believe that these nodules are a complication of inoculations with aluminum-containing vaccines.
Persistent subcutaneous nodules in patients hyposensitized with aluminum-containing allergen extracts. Garcia-Patos V. – Pujol R.M. Arch Dermatol (1995 Dec) 131(12):1421-4
These lesions have been mainly attributed to a hypersensitivity reaction to aluminum hydroxide, which is used as an absorbing agent in many vaccines and hyposensitization preparations. Patch tests with standard antigens and aluminum compounds and histopathologic and ultrastructural studies were performed on 10 patients with persistent subcutaneous nodules on the upper part of their arms after injection of aluminum-adsorbed dust and/or pollen extracts. The nodules appeared 1 month to 6.5 years after injections.
Aspects of aluminum toxicity.
Hewitt C.D. – Savory J. – Wills M.R.
From: Clin Lab Med (1990 Jun) 10(2):403-22
Attention was first drawn to the potential role of aluminum as a toxic metal over 50 years ago, but was dismissed as a toxic agent as recently as 15 years ago. The accumulation of aluminum, in some patients with chronic renal failure, is associated with the development of toxic phenomena; dialysis encephalopathy, osteomalacic dialysis osteodystrophy, and an anemia. Aluminum accumulation also occurs in patients who are not on dialysis, predominantly infants and children with immature or impaired renal function. Aluminum has also been implicated as a toxic agent in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease, Guamiam amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and parkinsonism-dementia.
Vaccination granulomas and aluminium allergy: course and prognostic factors.
Kaaber K. – Nielsen A.O. – Veien N.K.
From: Contact Dermatitis (1992 May) 26(5):304-6
21 children who had cutaneous granulomas following immunization with a vaccine containing aluminium hydroxide, and who had positive patch tests to aqueous aluminium chloride and/or to a Finn Chamber, were followed for 1 to 8 years. During the period of observation, the symptoms cleared in 5 children, improved in 11, and remained unchanged in 5.
Distribution of aluminum in different brain regions and body organs of rat.
Vasishta R.K. – Gill K.D.
From: Biol Trace Elem Res (1996 May) 52(2):181-92
In the present study, an attempt has been made to investigate the distribution of aluminum in different regions of brain and body organs of male albino rats, following subacute and acute aluminum exposure. Aluminum was observed to accumulate in all regions of the brain with maximum accumulation in the hippocampus. Aluminum was also seen to compartmentalize in almost all the tissues of the body to varying extents, and the highest accumulation was in the spleen.
Studies of aluminum-alzheimers and neurotoxicity causation
1: J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Nov;10(2-3):179-201.Aluminum and Alzheimer's disease: a new look.Miu AC, Benga O.
2: J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Nov;10(2-3):223-53.Blood-brain barrier flux of aluminum, manganese, iron and other metals suspected to contribute to metal-induced neurodegeneration.Yokel RA.
3: J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Nov;10(2-3):135-44.Mechanisms of aluminum-induced neurodegeneration in animals: Implications forAlzheimer's disease.Savory J, Herman MM, Ghribi O.
4: Brain Res Rev. 2006 Aug 30;52(1):193-200. Epub 2006 Mar 10.Some aspects of astroglial functions and aluminum implications forneurodegeneration.Aremu DA, Meshitsuka S.
5: J Alzheimers Dis. 2005 Nov;8(2):171-82; discussion 209-15.Effects of aluminum on the nervous system and its possible link withneurodegenerative diseases.Kawahara M.
6: Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2005 Dec;5(6):637-40. Epub 2005 Sep 28.Aluminum: new recognition of an old problem.Klein GL.
7: Toxicol Ind Health. 2002 Aug;18(7):309-20.Aluminum as a toxicant.Becaria A, Campbell A, Bondy SC.
8: Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2003 Nov;23(4):699-712.Aluminum inclusion macrophagic myofasciitis: a recently identified condition.Gherardi RK, Authier FJ.
The authors conclude that the persistence of aluminum hydroxide at the site ofintramuscular injection is a novel finding which has an exact significance thatremains to be established fully. It seems mandatory to evaluate possiblelong-term adverse effects induced by this compound, because this issue has notbeen addressed (in the past, aluminum hydroxide was believed to be clearedquickly from the body). If safety concerns about the long-term effects ofaluminum hydroxide are confirmed, novel and alternative vaccine adjuvants torescue vaccine-based strategies should be proposed.
9: Brain Res Bull. 2003 Nov 15;62(1):15-28.The role of metals in neurodegenerative processes: aluminum, manganese, and zinc.Zatta P, Lucchini R, van Rensburg SJ, Taylor A.
Aluminum has long been known as a neurotoxic agent. It is an etiopathogenic factor in diseases related to long-term dialysis treatment, and it has been controversially invoked as anaggravating factor or cofactor in Alzheimer's disease as well as in other neurodegenerative diseases.
10: Nutr Rev. 2003 Sep;61(9):306-10. Parenteral nutrition-associated cholestasis in neonates: the role of aluminum.Arnold CJ, Miller GG, Zello GA.
Aluminum loading in animals and humans causes hepaticaccumulation and damage. The degree of aluminum contamination of PN solutions hasdecreased over time, but contamination still significantly exceeds levels thatare safe for human neonates.
14: J Neurosci Res. 2001 Dec 1;66(5):1009-18.Aluminum, NO, and nerve growth factor neurotoxicity in cholinergic neurons. Szutowicz A.
15: Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1997 Oct 15;825:152-66.
Toxin-induced blood vessel inclusions caused by the chronic administration ofaluminum and sodium fluoride and their implications for dementia.
Isaacson RL, Varner JA, Jensen KF.
17: J Toxicol Environ Health. 1996 Aug 30;48(6):649-65.Systemic aluminum toxicity: effects on bone, hematopoietic tissue, and kidney.Jeffery EH, Abreo K, Burgess E, Cannata J, Greger JL.
18: J Toxicol Environ Health. 1996 Aug 30;48(6):585-97.What we know and what we need to know about developmental aluminum toxicity.Golub MS, Domingo JL.
19: J Toxicol Environ Health. 1996 Aug 30;48(6):569-84.Aluminum toxicokinetics.Exley C, Burgess E, Day JP, Jeffery EH, Melethil S, Yokel RA
Interesting info on how much aluminum is contained in vaccinations:
At the National Autism Association conference in Atlanta, Georgia November 8-11, 2007, Dr. David Ayoub gave a rousing presentation on the link between the accumulation of aluminum in the body and the development of autism spectrum disorders. He provided stunning documentation from diagnostic tests done on autistic children showing very high aluminum levels along with known symptoms of aluminum poisoning. He also brought up the Alzheimers/aluminum connection.
When going through Dr. Ayoub's PowerPoint presentation online, I decided to check out just how much aluminum was in such common products as antacids. I found that Maalox® extra strength contains 306 mg. of aluminum hydroxide for each dose and Mylanta®contains 500 mg. for each dose.
But the amount of aluminum being injected into infants as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is a jaw dropper.
The average birth weight for a baby is 7.4 lbs. (3.4 kg.) They receive soon after birth a hepatitis B vaccine that, if it happens to be Recombivax Hepatitis B from Merck, contains 500 mcg. of aluminum or 147 mcg. of aluminum per kg. of body weight. If the Energix vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline is administered, the pediatric dose is 250 mcg. of aluminum as aluminum hydroxide totaling 73.5 mcg. of aluminum per kg. of body weight.
The amount of time for these doses of aluminum to be eliminated by an infant’s immature kidneys is unknown, as is the time it takes for aluminum to transfer from muscular tissue to the bloodstream and, ultimately, into the brain. Meanwhile, the infant is continually dosed with aluminum through infant formula, and even in breastmilk but to a lesser degree.
The average baby visiting their pediatrician for the two-month, well-baby checkup weighs 9.25 lbs. (4.2 kg.) and could receive as much as 1475 mcg. of injected aluminum within 30 min. or 351 mcg. of aluminum per kg. of body weight. The breakdown of vaccines the pediatrician is supposed to administer follows: Hep B (250 to 500 mcg Al); Rotateq® (oral); DTaP (Infanrix® - 625 mcg Al and DAPTACEL® - 330 mcg Al); PCV - pneumococcal vaccine with 8 antigens (125 mcg. Al); Hib – haemophilus influenza type b (225 mcg. Al) and; IPV – inactivated polio vaccine.
Then, at four and six months of age, the bolus doses of aluminum continue to be injected.
What are the risks of this accumulating aluminum considering the constant exposure in utero, while feeding, breathing the air outside, and through baby products such as baby powder? Maybe you will want to minimize the number of injections your baby will receive by giving Pediarix®, a five in one shot. Think again. This shot contains as much as 850 mcg. of aluminum. What is most shocking is the fact that an infant’s body systems are all so immature and dependent on his mother’s "raw, enzyme-rich" milk (and love) for proper development. How can such a developing human withstand this toxic assault?
In the meantime, the CDC, EPA and FDA continue to deny the toxic nature of aluminum in our environment and medications.