The Side Effects of Vaccines – Thimerosal in the News Again

05 Jul

As a father of young twin boys, and with the shared responsibility with my wife for making the right decisions for the health of our boys, I remain interested in news about vaccines.

One of my favorite blogs at present is that of the Angry Toxicologist. A recent post regarding Vaccines and Autism clearly triggered some interesting the comments. This one is on the hot button of Vaccines and Autism and the fact that almost 5000 families will make the case in court that vaccines caused their children to develop autism. There are at least two camps and fuzziness in between. The Angry Toxicologist offers his view and the National Autism Association offers theirs.

A search on Google regarding Thimerosal and Autism gives 355,000 hits. There are thousands of other opinions.

My view, while vaccinating our children, was simple. Why not source vaccines without Thimerosal. Also, why assault babies with the MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) …simply source each vaccine separately and spread out the time for introduction of the individual viruses. We have a “patient-friendly” pediatrician who listened to our request and HELPED us source the individual components. He could NOT source them himself. Rules…

Yes, it cost us more money, more time, more travel, more trouble. But isn’t it the right thing to do? I have since informed friends of what we did and they have taken the request to their pediatricians only to hear that MMR cannot be split, that their children MUST have MMR by law and that there are advantages to the MMR cocktail. I can only see cost advantages … are their others? Okay…other than the fast it was “…introduced to induce immunity less painfully than three separate injections at the same time, and sooner and more efficiently than at three separate encounters”. Ask the question how the potential health hazards balance against your one year old crying for a few minutes.

I am sensitive to the impact of vaccines for personal reasons. I lost 40% of my retina to a vaccine almost a decade ago…I believe.

I received a cocktail vaccine to visit Brazil. Within 48 hours I had a severe temperature spike and within two weeks was struggling to see and spent three months with a retinal specialist who “celebrated” this fairly uncommon disease called Acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy. When this disease occurred they did not know the cause…but it left me with the “eyes of a 70 year old”. Nowadays, with the power of the web you can search “AMPPE Vaccine” and find hits including “Acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy after hepatitis B vaccine“. While a single publication, a small amount of data and my eye state aren’t evidence of what caused my problem multiple other conversations say that there is more evidence amassing. I’ll keep watching…with “70 year old eyes”. By the way, what really annoys me is the $1100 bill the local expert hit me with when I moved to North Carolina to “inform me” that there was no improvement. Ahem…I’m looking out of my eyes…do you think I know?

Okay…while I am ranting…for those of you interested in Vaccines and Viruses I recommend the book “The Virus and the Vaccine: The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated Polio Vaccine, and the Millions of Americans Exposed“. The basic premise of the book is : “Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine has taken on legendary quality as a medical miracle, for it largely eradicated one of the most feared diseases of the twentieth century. But the story of the vaccine has a dark side, one that has never been fully told before. In one of modern medicine’s biggest blunders, between 1954 and 1963, 98 million Americans received polio vaccinations widely contaminated with a carcinogenic monkey virus, known as simian virus 40, or SV40. A concerted government effort downplayed the incident, and it was generally accepted that although oncogenic to laboratory animals, SV40 was harmless to humans.”


Ok…now to thimerosal and ChemSpider…what is the structure of that stuff?

Wikipedia presents the structure of thimerosal in the form shown below.


ChemSpider offers two representations as shown below when searched on the trivial name of Thimerosal.

Thimerosal on ChemSpider

It is a sodium salt as defined by Wikipedia and in many of the synonyms. The question for the readers therefore is whether to add the Wikipedia representation to ChemSpider or not?


About tony

Antony (Tony) J. Williams received his BSc in 1985 from the University of Liverpool (UK) and PhD in 1988 from the University of London (UK). His PhD research interests were in studying the effects of high pressure on molecular motions within lubricant related systems using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. He moved to Ottawa, Canada to work for the National Research Council performing fundamental research on the electron paramagnetic resonance of radicals trapped in single crystals. Following his postdoctoral position he became the NMR Facility Manager for Ottawa University. Tony joined the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York as their NMR Technology Leader. He led the laboratory to develop quality control across multiple spectroscopy labs and helped establish walk-up laboratories providing NMR, LC-MS and other forms of spectroscopy to hundreds of chemists across multiple sites. This included the delivery of spectroscopic data to the desktop, automated processing and his initial interests in computer-assisted structure elucidation (CASE) systems. He also worked with a team to develop the worlds’ first web-based LIMS system, WIMS, capable of allowing chemical structure searching and spectral display. With his developing cheminformatic skills and passion for data management he left corporate America to join a small start-up company working out of Toronto, Canada. He joined ACD/Labs as their NMR Product Manager and various roles, including Chief Science Officer, during his 10 years with the company. His responsibilities included managing over 50 products at one time prior to developing a product management team, managing sales, marketing, technical support and technical services. ACD/Labs was one of Canada’s Fast 50 Tech Companies, and Forbes Fast 500 companies in 2001. His primary passions during his tenure with ACD/Labs was the continued adoption of web-based technologies and developing automated structure verification and elucidation platforms. While at ACD/Labs he suggested the possibility of developing a public resource for chemists attempting to integrate internet available chemical data. He finally pursued this vision with some close friends as a hobby project in the evenings and the result was the ChemSpider database ( Even while running out of a basement on hand built servers the website developed a large community following that eventually culminated in the acquisition of the website by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Tony joined the organization, together with some of the other ChemSpider team, and became their Vice President of Strategic Development. At RSC he continued to develop cheminformatics tools, specifically ChemSpider, and was the technical lead for the chemistry aspects of the Open PHACTS project (, a project focused on the delivery of open data, open source and open systems to support the pharmaceutical sciences. He was also the technical lead for the UK National Chemical Database Service ( and the RSC lead for the PharmaSea project ( attempting to identify novel natural products from the ocean. He left RSC in 2015 to become a Computational Chemist in the National Center of Computational Toxicology at the Environmental Protection Agency where he is bringing his skills to bear working with a team on the delivery of a new software architecture for the management and delivery of data, algorithms and visualization tools. The “Chemistry Dashboard” was released on April 1st, no fooling, at, and provides access to over 700,000 chemicals, experimental and predicted properties and a developing link network to support the environmental sciences. Tony remains passionate about computer-assisted structure elucidation and verification approaches and continues to publish in this area. He is also passionate about teaching scientists to benefit from the developing array of social networking tools for scientists and is known as the ChemConnector on the networks. Over the years he has had adjunct roles at a number of institutions and presently enjoys working with scientists at both UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University. He is widely published with over 200 papers and book chapters and was the recipient of the Jim Gray Award for eScience in 2012. In 2016 he was awarded the North Carolina ACS Distinguished Speaker Award.
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Posted by on July 5, 2007 in ChemSpider Chemistry, Uncategorized


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