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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1295-1313; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201295

Exposure to Mercury and Aluminum in Early Life: Developmental Vulnerability as a Modifying Factor in Neurologic and Immunologic Effects

Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidade de Brasilia, 70919-970 DF Brasilia, Brazil
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [715 KB, uploaded 23 January 2015]

Abstract

Currently, ethylmercury (EtHg) and adjuvant-Al are the dominating interventional exposures encountered by fetuses, newborns, and infants due to immunization with Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs). Despite their long use as active agents of medicines and fungicides, the safety levels of these substances have never been determined, either for animals or for adult humans—much less for fetuses, newborns, infants, and children. I reviewed the literature for papers reporting on outcomes associated with (a) multiple exposures and metabolism of EtHg and Al during early life; (b) physiological and metabolic characteristics of newborns, neonates, and infants relevant to xenobiotic exposure and effects; (c) neurobehavioral, immunological, and inflammatory reactions to Thimerosal and Al-adjuvants resulting from TCV exposure in infancy. Immunological and neurobehavioral effects of Thimerosal-EtHg and Al-adjuvants are not extraordinary; rather, these effects are easily detected in high and low income countries, with co-exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) or other neurotoxicants. Rigorous and replicable studies (in different animal species) have shown evidence of EtHg and Al toxicities. More research attention has been given to EtHg and findings have showed a solid link with neurotoxic effects in humans; however, the potential synergic effect of both toxic agents has not been properly studied. Therefore, early life exposure to both EtHg and Al deserves due consideration. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethylmercury; methylmercury; aluminum; breastfeeding; Thimerosal; vaccines; neonates ethylmercury; methylmercury; aluminum; breastfeeding; Thimerosal; vaccines; neonates
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dórea, J.G. Exposure to Mercury and Aluminum in Early Life: Developmental Vulnerability as a Modifying Factor in Neurologic and Immunologic Effects. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1295-1313.

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