Thimerosal Effect

1303 Words6 Pages
Thimerosal is an organomercury compound primarily used in vaccines and antiseptic medications.Thimerosal’s oligodynamic effect is how the chemical prevents the growth of bacteria at a wound site, and prevents bacterial contamination when doses are drawn from a multidose vial. The structure of the chemical features two ligands (the thiolate and the ethyl group) attached to a Hg atom. The chemical has become the subject of much controversy after many media platforms have given a voice to the anti-vaxxer movement, which demands that the compound be placed on the national banned chemical list by the DPS (Department of Public Safety), due to fears of Thimerosal causing autism and other brain development disorders . This document was written…show more content…
Two significant facts about the mercury compound found in Thimerosal make it safer; the incredibly small concentration of mercury, and the use of the ethylmercury. Firstly, the highest concentration of thimerosal that is used in vaccine preservations is only 0.01%, meaning that only 25 micrograms of mercury are present per 0.5 mL dose.That is extremely inconsequential when compared to the real sources of mercury pollution; air and water emissions from gold-mining Chloralkali plants and the discharge of dental amalgams. This small amount of mercury is also less likely to make its way into the environment in the first place, due to the nature of vaccines as a product to not be so easily discarded in the environment, in contrast to mercury products such as batteries. Secondly, the use of methylmercury means that subsequent pollution of the environment with the drug will not lead to bioaccumulation, (the presence of large amounts of pollutants in top consumers of the food chain) in ecosystems. This is because, unlike other types of mercury compounds like methylmercury, ethylmercury can clear through the bloodstream extremely quickly, meaning that pollution of the environment with Thimerosal will not lead to negative effects on the tertiary consumers of ecosystems (such as large fish). The lack of bioaccumulation and incredibly small concentrations of pollutant is why the chemical Thimerosal has negligible negative effects on the environment and thus, environmental worries are not ground for placing the chemical on the ban

More about Thimerosal Effect

Open Document