Autism and Vaccines: The Role of Aluminum in Vaccines and in General

Vaccines have been a hot topic for years when it comes to the risk of Autism. Many moms are very concerned about this issue. Many moms ask me about the connection and the risks. This is not my field of specialty but they want to hear what we did with our 6 kids.

I have always followed the European protocol for vaccination which is a slower vaccination protcol (ie: not all at once). Europeans spread out the vaccines over time more than what US pediatricians recommend in my experience. All our kids got all their vaccines but we did it more slowly. When I got a push back from a pediatrician a couple of times, I pulled out the studies showing the European way and the fact that giving vaccines over time instead of cramming them in all in the first years seems to be acceptable (as long as they are not immunocompromised or have other risk factors.

I for one deferred the Hepatitis B vaccine as I did not get mine till medical school. When I was growing up, it was not offered.

Is the concern over vaccines and autism valid? I think it is. There is a great deal we do not know.
The below 2 studies point to Aluminum in some vaccines that may be a concern. These studies do not say “don’t vaccinate your children.” But they point to something that needs to be investigated further.


Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry

Volume 105, Issue 11, November 2011, Pages 1489-1499
Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry

Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?


Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are serious multisystem developmental disorders and an urgent global public health concern. Dysfunctional immunity and impaired brain function are core deficits in ASD. Aluminum (Al), the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant, is a demonstrated neurotoxin and a strong immune stimulator. Hence, adjuvant Al has the potential to induce neuroimmune disorders. When assessing adjuvant toxicity in children, two key points ought to be considered: (i) children should not be viewed as “small adults” as their unique physiology makes them much more vulnerable to toxic insults; and (ii) if exposure to Al from only few vaccines can lead to cognitive impairment and autoimmunityin adults, is it unreasonable to question whether the current pediatric schedules, often containing 18 Al adjuvanted vaccines, are safe for children? By applying Hill’s criteria for establishing causality between exposure and outcome we investigated whether exposure to Al from vaccines could be contributing to the rise in ASD prevalence in the Western world. Our results show that: (i) children from countries with the highest ASD prevalence appear to have the highest exposure to Al from vaccines; (ii) the increase in exposure to Al adjuvants significantly correlates with the increase in ASD prevalence in the United States observed over the last two decades (Pearson r = 0.92, p < 0.0001); and (iii) a significant correlation exists between the amounts of Al administered to preschool children and the current prevalence of ASD in seven Western countries, particularly at 3–4 months of age (Pearson r = 0.89–0.94, p = 0.0018–0.0248). The application of the Hill’s criteria to these data indicates that the correlation between Al in vaccines and ASD may be causal. Because children represent a fraction of the population most at risk for complications following exposure to Al, a more rigorous evaluation of Al adjuvant safety seems warranted.


Aluminium in brain tissue in autism

Under a Creative Commons license
open access


Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder of unknown aetiology. It is suggested to involve both genetic susceptibility and environmental factors including in the latter environmental toxinsHuman exposure to the environmental toxin aluminium has been linked, if tentatively, to autism spectrumdisorder. Herein we have used transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry to measure, for the first time, the aluminium content of brain tissue from donors with a diagnosis of autism. We have also used an aluminium-selective fluor to identify aluminium in brain tissue using fluorescence microscopy. The aluminium content of brain tissue in autism was consistently high. The mean (standard deviation) aluminium content across all 5 individuals for each lobe were 3.82(5.42), 2.30(2.00), 2.79(4.05) and 3.82(5.17) μg/g dry wt. for the occipital, frontal, temporal and parietal lobes respectively. These are some of the highest values for aluminium in human brain tissue yet recorded and one has to question why, for example, the aluminium content of the occipital lobe of a 15 year old boy would be 8.74 (11.59) μg/g dry wt.? Aluminium-selective fluorescence microscopy was used to identify aluminium in brain tissue in 10 donors. While aluminium was imaged associated with neurones it appeared to be present intracellularly in microglia-like cells and other inflammatory non-neuronal cells in the meningesvasculaturegrey and white matter. The pre-eminence of intracellular aluminium associated with non-neuronal cells was a standout observation in autism brain tissue and may offer clues as to both the origin of the brain aluminium as well as a putative role in autism spectrum disorder.


Human exposure to aluminium
Human brain tissue
Autism spectrum disorder
Transversely heated atomic absorption spectrometry
Aluminium-selective fluorescence microscopy

1. Introduction

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental conditions of unknown cause. It is highly likely that both genetic [1] and environmental [2]factors are associated with the onset and progress of ASD while the mechanisms underlying its aetiology are expected to be multifactorial [3][4][5][6]Humanexposure to aluminium has been implicated in ASD with conclusions being equivocal [7][8][9][10]. To-date the majority of studies have used hair as their indicator of human exposure to aluminium while aluminium in blood and urinehave also been used to a much more limited extent. Paediatric vaccines that include an aluminium adjuvant are an indirect measure of infant exposure to aluminium and their burgeoning use has been directly correlated with increasing prevalence of ASD [11]Animal models of ASD continue to support a connection with aluminium and to aluminium adjuvants used in human vaccinations in particular [12]. Hitherto there are no previous reports of aluminium in brain tissuefrom donors who died with a diagnosis of ASD. We have measured aluminium in brain tissue in autism and identified the location of aluminium in these tissues.
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