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I love it when an antivax “study” meant to show how “dirty” vaccines are backfires so spectacularly

It is an article of faith among antivaxers that vaccines are “dirty” and “contaminated.” So when antivaccine “scientists” try to show how contaminated vaccines are and wind up actually showing how pure they are, I laugh.

I’ve frequently written about what I like to refer to as the “toxins gambit” with respect to vaccines. Basically, in the hard core (and even soft core) antivaccine crowd, vaccines are feared as being loaded with all sorts of “toxins,” such as aluminum, formaldehyde, mercury, and various chemicals that are dangerous enough separately, but, when combined, “poison” young babies, resulting in their becoming autistic, acquiring asthma and autoimmune diseases, or even dying of sudden infant death syndrome. Of course, many of the scary-sounding chemicals to which antivaccinationists point actually are in vaccines, but, as Paracelsus put it, the dose makes the poison, and the amount in vaccines is very much low enough not to pose a health threat. Also, formaldehyde is a product of normal metabolism present in the bloodstream of infants at a level much higher than what any vaccine contains.

So fearful of contamination of the precious bodily fluids of their babies are antivaccinationists (and, let’s be real, it really does boil down to just that in many cases) that it’s not enough to demonize vaccines based on the harmless ingredients that do make them up. They have to go beyond that and demonize vaccines based on what isn’t even in them. Right now, that misinformation takes the form of what looks on the surface like a real scientific paper. That’s what’s happening right now with a paper by Antonietta Gatti and Stefano Montanari in the International Journal of Vaccines and Vaccination entitled New Quality-Control Investigations on Vaccines: Micro- and Nanocontamination. It’s a paper I found through an article being circulated in antivaccine circles by the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI), an group made up mainly of antivaccine cranks, in an article entitled Dirty Vaccines: New Study Reveals Prevalence of Contaminants. Note the “dirty vaccines” title. That is very much a matter of faith in much of the antivaccine community, that vaccines are “dirty,” hence the rants about DNA, monkey cells, formaldehyde, and the rest in vaccines. The article cranks the fear mongering up to 11 right from the beginning:

Every Human Vaccine Tested Was Contaminated by Unsafe Levels of Metals and Debris Linked to Cancer and Autoimmune Disease, New Study Reports

Researchers examining 44 samples of 30 different vaccines found dangerous contaminants, including red blood cells in one vaccine and metal toxicants in every single sample tested – except in one animal vaccine.

Using extremely sensitive new technologies not used in vaccine manufacturing, Italian scientists reported they were “baffled” by their discoveries which included single particles and aggregates of organic debris including red cells of human or possibly animal origin and metals including lead, tungsten, gold, and chromium, that have been linked to autoimmune disease and leukemia.

Wow. Sounds really, really scary, doesn’t it? The authors, after all, used electron microscopy, specifically a Field Emission Gun Environmental Electron Scanning Microscope equipped with the X-ray microprobe of an Energy Dispersive Spectroscope to detect the possible presence of inorganic, particulate contaminants and identify their chemical composition, to examine the vaccines and found all sorts of scary-looking stuff! My first response was: Unsafe levels. You keep using that term. I do not think it means what you think it means. My second response was: Baffled? Only if you have no idea what you are doing and talking about. You’ll see why in a moment, when I take a look at the paper you’ll see something that looks like a perfectly normal scientific paper. However, if you look at the publisher that publishes it, MedCrave, there are warning flags:

MedCrave is an Open Access Publishing website that contains ample scientific research information on categorized topics. MedCrave is a huge Online Publishing Library, where anyone can view, share and download research papers. The subjects covered here are vast, and every paper here is approved by the Editor and is peer reviewed. Unlike other Online Publishing Groups, MedCrave is the place for developing your educational standards and making yourself well acquainted with the latest research and development in all the fields. The authors of the research papers contribute a lot in making us one of the finest Online Publishing Groups and they also build up their prestige in MedCrave and the readers benefit from the reputed papers. The research papers from MedCrave also have an added visibility from all over the world. There is no charge viable for using MedCrave in any way.

This is what MedCrave means by peer review. Look at its flowsheet, and you will see that it looks as though there is almost no way for your paper to be rejected, period. In fact, I laughed at the flowsheet, having never seen anything like it in any legitimate scientific journal. Not surprisingly, MedCrave is included on Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers, basically a list of “pay to publish” open access journals who charge significant sums to authors to publish their work but whose editorial oversite and peer review are—shall we say?—lacking.

But what about the paper itself? Basically it’s a lot of fear mongering rooted in either biological ignorance or intentional deception (take your pick—there is no third option, although I concede it could be a combination of the two). I’ll show you what I mean. The authors show this photomicrograph of crystals of saline solution and aluminum phosphate and corresponding energy dispersive X-ray spectra (EDS spectra).

Aluminum crystals, chosen for maximal scariness.
Aluminum crystals, chosen for maximal scariness.

They write this about the photo:

Figure 1a shows a layer of crystals of Sodium chloride (NaCl) embedding salts of Aluminum phosphate (AlPO4) in a drop of Gardasil (anti-HPV vaccine by Merck) as the EDS spectrum (Figure 1b) shows. Saline is the fluid base to any vaccine preparation and Aluminum salts or Aluminum hydroxide [Al(OH)3] are the adjuvants which are usually added.

Looking at the area outside these precipitates but inside the liquid drop, we identified other things: single particles, clusters of particles and aggregates (organic-inorganic composites) that are due to an interaction of the inorganic particulate matter with the organic part of the vaccine.

Wow! That looks scary, doesn’t it? Basically, though, the authors are looking at a big aluminum phosphate crystal, given how the samples are prepared for electron microscopy:

A drop of about 20 microliter of vaccine is released from the syringe on a 25-mm-diameter cellulose filter (Millipore, USA), inside a flow cabinet. The filter is then deposited on an Aluminum stub covered with an adhesive carbon disc. The sample is immediately put inside a clean box in order to avoid any contamination and the box is re-opened only for the sample to be inserted inside the FEG-ESEM chamber. We selected that particular type of microscope as it allows to analyse watery and oily samples in low vacuum (from 10 to 130 Pa) at a high sensitivity.

When the water and saline the vaccine contains are evaporated, the biological/physical components emerge on the filter and it is then possible to observe them. This type of microscope

I’m not an expert in electron microscopy (EM), but I know that samples for EM generally have to be examined under vacuum. That’s why, in the case of biological samples, you can’t look at living cells. If you take a liquid sample and put it under even low vacuum, it evaporates. What’s left? Crystals and precipitates. Also, as you might imagine, EM is very, very sensitive. So it’s going to pick up incredibly tiny, biologically irrelevant amounts of everything. Antivaccinationists are obsessed with “purity”; so even these tiny amounts of “contaminants” will alarm them, and CMSRI knows that. Whether the authors of the article themselves know this or not, I don’t know or care, but I do care that their article is now being used to frighten parents.

What follows, then, is a series of photomicrographs of all sorts of particles that they found after evaporating 44 vaccines from four different countries, as listed in Table 1 of the paper. If you look at the other tables, you’ll see that the authors list all sorts of scary-sounding metals and compounds ranging from tungsten to aluminum to silicone to gold, to zirconium, all, ominously, “embedded in biological substrate” (i.e., precipitated proteins, which is what you would expect to find if you evaporated a vaccine, along with the minerals from the salt solution). The key table in the paper, however, for a chemist (my undergraduate major was chemistry before I went to medical school, and I took a considerable number of biochemistry and biochemistry-related classes during my education, both undergraduate and graduate) is Table 3. Look at it. More importantly, look at the numbers of precipitates found per sample. It ranges from two to 1,821.

O.M.G.! 1,821 particles! Holy crap! That’s horrible! The antivaxers are right that vaccines are hopelessly contaminated!

No. They. Are. Not.

Look at it this way. This is what was found in 20 μl (that’s microliters) of liquid. That’s 0.00002 liters. That means, in a theoretical liter of the vaccine, the most that one would find is 91,050,000 (9.105 x 107) particles! Holy hell! That’s a lot. We should be scared, shouldn’t we? well, no. Let’s go back to our homeopathy knowledge and look at Avogadro’s number. One mole of particles = 6.023 x 1023. So divide 91,050,000 by Avogadro’s number, and you’ll get the molarity of a solution of 91,050,000 particle in a liter, as a 1 M solution would contain 6.023 x 1023 particles. So what’s the concentration:

1.512 x 10-16 M. that’s 0.15 femtomolar (fM) (or 150 altomolar), an incredibly low concentration. And that’s the highest amount the investigators found. In reality, what they actually found is that vaccines are incredibly pure!

Yes, I know that I’ve simplified the calculations and that particles are not molecules [as has been pointed out in the comments]. I did it not to be perfectly scientifically, chemically accurate in a way that I’d do if I were in the lab doing an experiment. I used this example just to illustrate how a large number like 1,821 is not so very large at all. Then remember that 1,821 was the largest number of particles found in any vaccine. The vast majority of them contained many fewer particles, sometimes single digits numbers. Moreover, I note that the authors of the paper don’t report the concentration of the particles anywhere in their paper, an unconscionable and likely intentional omission that led me to look for an exercise to estimate and illustrate just how small these numbers are. I realize it’s an imperfect example; so let’s look at another, one that our friend the Skeptical Raptor uses:

Therein lies the most problematic issue with the data. The numbers are well below the level of biological activity, if these various chemicals even have biological activity (most don’t). For example, the authors found 1569 particles or precipitates in one drop of Cervarix (an anti-HPV vaccine). Sounds horrific right? Except that one drop of vaccine contains around 1.39 X 10^21 individual molecules. This so called contamination approximately 0.0000000000000000000719% of these so called contaminants.

In that Cervarix sample, the researchers found aluminum hydroxide, one of those scary sounding compounds. Let’s say every one of those 1569 particles was aluminum hydroxide, it would mean that around 0.000000000001 ng of aluminum hydroxide in a vial of vaccine. That is simply biologically irrelevant. Even if the aluminum hydroxide was found, it’s level is so low, that the human body wouldn’t notice it. You breathe in more aluminum on a normal day than you would ever find in a vial of vaccine.

Let me repeat for emphasis. The investigators think that what they found is that vaccines are contaminated with all sorts of inorganic metals. What they really found is that the amount of inorganic contamination is so low as to be biologically irrelevant. In fact, what they found is that vaccines are incredibly pure products.

And I didn’t even get into a very good question that our scaly friend asked: What were the controls? What would you find if you carried out the same analyses on tap water, for instance? It could very well be that syringe used to draw up and deposit the specimen could be the source of the “contamination.” Hell, it could just as easily be the cellulose matrix on which the specimens are deposited for analysis that were responsible for the “contamination.” I’m familiar with those filters, as they are commonly used in molecular biology. They are not ultra-pure. How were they stored? Often filters can pick up dust from the air. Whatever the source of the particles observed, without controls, there’s no way of knowing if the source was the vaccines or not. It could be that vaccines are even more pure than this study shows!

Now, knowing this, go and read the discussion and conclusion of this paper. You will laugh, and you should laugh. The investigators deserve nothing but mockery for this idiocy, such as:

We come across particles with chemical compositions, similar to those found in the vaccines we analyzed, when we study cases of environmental contamination caused by different pollution sources. In most circumstances, the combinations detected are very odd as they have no technical use, cannot be found in any material handbook and look like the result of the random formation occurring, for example, when waste is burnt. In any case, whatever their origin, they should not be present in any injectable medicament, let alone in vaccines, more in particular those meant for infants.

Other forms of so-far unknown contaminations have recently been observed and, in any case, vaccines contain components that could themselves be the cause of adverse effects. It is a well-known fact in toxicology that contaminants exert a mutual, synergic effect, and as the number of contaminants increases, the effects grow less and less predictable. The more so when some substances are unknown.

Yes, laugh, because what Gatti and Montanari actually showed is that the level of inorganic contamination in vaccines is minuscule, suggesting that the manufacturing processes used to make them are very, very good at making sure that vaccines are pure, given that none of the vaccines contained more inorganic particles at a concentration higher than 0.15 femtomolar. But also get angry at the deception and cry that there will be parents taken in by this ridiculous paper, as groups like CSMRI spread it far and wide with terrifying language about “contamination.” Given that the CMSRI’s scientific advisory board includes antivaccine “scientists” like Christopher Shaw, Yehuda Shoenfeld, Richard Deth, Stephanie Seneff, and Vicky Debold, along with some others I’m not familiar with, it’s not at all surprising that CMSRI loves it. It also amuses me to no end that the “scientific board” didn’t see the obvious problems with this paper.

That’s because it’s all about antivaccine fear mongering, not science.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

396 replies on “I love it when an antivax “study” meant to show how “dirty” vaccines are backfires so spectacularly”

A drop of about 20 microliter of vaccine is released from the syringe on a 25-mm-diameter cellulose filter (Millipore, USA), inside a flow cabinet. The filter is then deposited on an Aluminum stub covered with an adhesive carbon disc. The sample is immediately put inside a clean box in order to avoid any contamination…

…except you’ve drawn it up into a syringe and then put it through a filter, both of which were not controlled for in this “analysis”, as you’ve noted.

Looking at the standards for reagent water purity (and I will preface with stating I trained undergrad as a physicist, so things didn’t get much more complicated for me than hydrogen and, rarely helium), there are standards for purity per ASTM D1193-06. Given that the highest level of purity (ASTM Type 1) allows 50 mcg/L of TOC (total organic carbon) and 1 mgc/L each of sodium and chloride (as well as 3 mcg/L of silica), it does sound like vaccines they looked at were, as you note, incredibly pure.

What a worthless journal the “International Journal of Vaccines and Vaccination” must be to have accepted this rot.

“Looking at the area outside these precipitates but inside the liquid drop, we identified other things:”

I love it when they talk all technical-like.

I nominate this one for Italian Science Paper of the Year.

I’d be willing to bet that, if somebody were to use the same protocol to analyze homeopathic remedies, they would find similar or higher amounts of “contaminants”. Because as mentioned above, there were no control samples on things like distilled water. And as I’ve mentioned before, there are limits on how pure distilled water can be made.

Can the next paper by this group be about contaminants in MMS, chelation remedies and the most commonly used biomed supplements, please?

Thanks to Magdalen, on Skeptical Raptor, for highlighting the horrible references. The first one to a website.

No, see, you have to look at it homeopathically. Those tiny amounts are super dangerous, because they’re so small. *rolls eyes*

I note that many of the samples examined were well past their expiration dates, some by a dozen years (2004). I wonder if the fools understand that the reason for expiration dates for such products is that they are known to be less than perfectly stable. Elastomer closures on vials are subject to degradation over time. Even USP Type 1 glass is going to add contaminants to contents given sufficient time.

I wonder if they are aware that many parenteral products, including several vaccines, are suspensions, not solutions. Send ’em a bag of total parenteral nutrition goop. That ought to keep ’em occupied for quite some time.

@Orac,

You destroyed “them” on this one!

But, as you brilliantly suggested the vaccine packaging could contaminate the solution. I wish I would have thought of that sooner than 10 years ago. 🙂

Let’s be friends now okay?

Another prime example of individuals not understanding science…or even simple measurements.

If they looked at Garasil there better be particles in the formulation. The capsid proteins in the vaccine should self assemble into virus-like particles to elicit an immune response.

The publisher’s description of the journal reads like a cheeto tweet.
I kept expecting “huge” or “bigly”.

Saline is the fluid base to any vaccine preparation

Yikes. The diluent for MMR, e.g., is sterile water.

I mean, ORAC, not a terrible article on your part except for this quote you lifted off of Skeptical Raptor (lobotomized propagandasaur):

…that Cervarix sample, the researchers found aluminum hydroxide, one of those scary sounding compounds. Let’s say every one of those 1569 particles was aluminum hydroxide, it would mean that around 0.000000000001 ng of aluminum hydroxide in a vial of vaccine. That is simply biologically irrelevant.

Now, what they are saying at Skeptical Raptor is highly disingenuous.

The amount of elemental aluminum in a vial of Cervarix, per data sheet, is .5 milligrams.

http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/datasheet/c/Cervarixinj.pdf

Now let’s play with the Skeptical Raptor number to see how deceptive they are:

0.000000000001 ng

1(10⁻¹²)ng Al(OH)₃

And one nanogram is (10⁻⁹)g correct?

1(10⁻¹²)(10⁻⁹)g Al(OH)₃

(10⁻²¹)g Al(OH)₃

So even if Sceptical Raptard didn’t go right out and say it, they implied that this is the amount of aluminum hydroxide in Cervarix. At least some readers would get that impression.

And how much is there really?

Well, the data sheet has .5mg Al³⁺:

.5(10⁻³)g Al³⁺

Converting into Al(OH)₃ now:

.5(10⁻³)g Al³⁺ × (78g Al(OH)₃/ 27g Al³⁺)

1.444(10⁻³)g Al(OH)₃

This is the real amount of aluminum hydroxide in Cervarix.

The numbers side-by-side:

Sceptical Raptard: (10⁻²¹)g Al(OH)₃

Product Data Sheet: 1.444(10⁻³)g Al(OH)₃

http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/datasheet/c/Cervarixinj.pdf

Big difference.

Micheal Dochniak, what do you think about the Skeptical Raptor quote?

Disingenuous yes?

It would be really nice if the clueless idiots who publish this stuff would, just once in a while, not down-sample and/or compress the images to the point of illegibility. As far as I’m concerned, the blame lies very squarely on the publishers. If the originals as submitted were illegible, then the publisher should have flung them back to the source with a rude note. If the publisher mangled them then the publisher is incompetent and culpable.

The methods section of the paper is utterly useless and would have been equally satisfactory if it simple said “we did some stuff.” Millipore makes more than one type of cellulose filter. Identifying it by diameter is not helpful. Who made the syringes and needles used? We don’t even know if they were standard disposable medical products or Hamilton syringes (which would be the standard for precisely measuring 20 µL, but reusable therefore requiring meticulous cleaning. Why evaporation if the interest is particulates? The standard is filtering through a membrane filter. “Flow cabinet”? How well filtered was the air through the cabinet? And as has been pointed out – where were the controls?

@Snoopie (#15),

You’ve got a scoopie, snoopie (aka. Sherlock).

Nicely written post but my cell phone is out of energy so I can’t verify your calculations in post #14.

Looks like odious troll has returned….

And Travis didn’t even take the time to find the Unicode mult cross while cutting and pasting all the sups and subs.

I can’t believe that ORAC would lift a quote off that idiotic website….

Sceptical Raptor?

A website with a corny mascot?

A fμcking dinosaur. What’s next? Corny puns?

Sceptical Raptor is hungry for donations. Sceptical Raptor’s teeth are sharper that Occam’s Razor, ready to tear through the soft belly of pseudoscience.

Skeptical Raptard says:

You breathe in more aluminum on a normal day than you would ever find in a vial of vaccine.

Okay now, this is just ridiculous.

Dorit, can you explain this? Can you show us the calculations for this one?

#14, ‘Snoopie’
OK, you caught an error with regard to the amount of aluminum adjuvant in Cervarix (an understandable error, since not all vaccines contain aluminum). So what? Even a few milligrams of Al(OH)3 is perfectly harmless from a toxicology point of view — it is the same order of magnitude that even an infant gets into its body every single day, without any harmful effects whatsoever.
Furthermore, aluminum hydroxide is nigh insoluble, and remains on the injection site for quite some time, only being cleared slowly by the body — and this is exactly what should happen, because this triggers a proper immune immune response with only a fraction of the antigen needed otherwise. This persistence is also the cause of the ‘knot’ that sometimes appears at the injection site — a known and harmless side effect.
The aluminum hydroxide from a vaccine does not enter the bloodstream in any significant amounts, and it most certainly does not enter brain in any measurable quantities. let alone harmful quantities.

Sorry, guys. It was an experiment. I was pretty sure it was Fendlesworth from the first post, but I wanted to do an experiment to see if I was correct. I’m becoming a lot more confident in my ability to spot Fendlesworth right from the beginning now.

I’d be willing to bet that, if somebody were to use the same protocol to analyze homeopathic remedies, they would find similar or higher amounts of “contaminants”.

But, but, but, homeopathic remedies aren’t injected! Everyone knows that injection instantly delivers any substance straight to the very core of your being, tainting your precious bodily fluids forever! I mean, it’s not like we have some sort of built in defense mechanism against foreign substances that break the skin. /sarcasm

Thinking of controls, does anyone know offhand of the tested ‘purity’ of normal saline?

My favorite is when they say vaccines are “laced” with these things, invoking the imagery of deliberate and malignant tampering.

@Eric Lund:

I’d be willing to bet that, if somebody were to use the same protocol to analyze homeopathic remedies, they would find similar or higher amounts of “contaminants”.

I read somewhere (but can’t remember exactly where) that homeopathic remedies were subjected to analysis and they found pieces of glass in them, most likely from the succusions.

I will say, he certainly is persistent…

Note that the sad attempt to start slipping in UK/Canadian spellings started before this instantiation. It’s like Gerg in reverse.

Orac writes, (~#26),

Sorry, guys. It was an experiment.

MJD says,

Why do you use the word “guys” when you clearly mean all others?

This is an inappropriate continuation of “gender supremacy” that alienates more than 50% of the human population. Well, maybe just the 300,000 +/- 100 females that frequently visit and make comments here at RI.

Understand, I don’t want to be an Orac minion if “gender supremacy” is the accepted language here at RI. 🙁

As far as I’m concerned, the blame lies very squarely on the publishers.

MedCrave are low-life grifters even by the standards of predatory / parasitical publishers. Beall’s Blog is closed now, but All Praise the Wayback Machine, which archived his post on MedCrave and the comment thread that followed!
https://web.archive.org/web/20161222210911/https://scholarlyoa.com/2016/11/03/medcrave-update-its-still-a-dangerous-predatory-publisher/

Like other publishers in the industry, they are favoured by cynical reality-obfuscating fraudsters who have a few k$ to spend on promoting their collection of Alternative Facts. The idea is that once the stuff has been puke-funneled through a simalucrum of a real journal, lazy journamalists are likely to assume that it does carry the imprimatur of peer-review.

The paper came up recently on one of Sylvie Coyaud’s comment threads, and I had wondered about mailing a link to Orac:
http://ocasapiens-dweb.blogautore.repubblica.it/2017/01/25/o-tempura-o-morays-tarantino-finelli-cont/comment-page-1/#comment-1039043

Of the two authors, Gatti has carved out “nanodignostics” and “nanoforensics” as her own personal scientific discipline, where there are no competitors to cast shade upon her work. She edits the MedCrave mockademic dumpster “Journal of Nanomedicine Research”.
http://medcraveonline.com/JNMR/JNMR-04-00075.php
The FBI would envy her miraculous ability to always find nanoparticles, in any “nano-autopsy” she performs, which always confirm her theory on how the victim died.

Though Elsevier are no less cynical and predatory — they published the Gatti-Montanari tome:
ht_tps://www.elsevier.com/books/case-studies-in-nanotoxicology-and-particle-toxicology/gatti/978-0-12-801215-4
.

QJulian Frost, #34

I read somewhere (but can’t remember exactly where) that homeopathic remedies were subjected to analysis and they found pieces of glass in them

Most likely it was this story.

Then again, they can just claim to be offering ‘low potency homeopathically diluted glass’. Given that these clowns dilute-‘n-shake anything up to and including shipwreck debris and light of Saturn, diluted glass sounds pretty normal in comparison…

I don’t know how to use an electron microscope, but even I would not conclude that vaccines are full of poisons based on this. Can someone explain how the authors learned to use an EM yet did not learn to divide first?

While maybe some individuals might take offense, but I had thought that the word “guys” had become a more gender-neutral term to describe a group of people.

they can just claim to be offering ‘low potency homeopathically diluted glass’

Meh; Belladonna for baby??

Certain brands of “homeopathic” teething products contain belladonna, a toxic chemical, and shouldn’t be used, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

The company that makes Hyland’s homeopathic teething products has refused to recall them so the FDA said it was issuing a warning.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/homeopathic-teething-aid-contains-toxic-belladonna-fda-says-n713311

Gatti and Montanari have previously reported nanoparticles in the blood of leukemia patients, and in thromboses / scar tissue.
And in bread and biscuits!
ht_tp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408390802064347?journalCode=bfsn20
And in ice-cream, Mandrake, children’s ice-cream!

They are worried about chemtrails (possibly one source of the nanoparticulate contamination), and geo-engineering, and global warming. Perhaps the chemtrails are causing global warming… I am not clear of the details.

There are hints of a scandal about how they came to have a personal electron microscope. There appears to have been a fund-raising campaign to buy one (led by Beppe Grillo), with the idea of documenting contamination from military bases and dirty industries across Italy… but it all ended in recriminations, mutual accusations of fraud, and toys out of the cot.

@herr doktor bimler, #37:

favoured by cynical reality-obfuscating fraudsters who have a few k$ to spend on promoting their collection of Alternative Facts.

I wonder how long before we see an actual, even peer-reviewed, journal with that or a similar name. The Journal of Alternative Facts (JAF). Kinda has a nice ring to it, but then so do some toilet bowels.

Lawrence writes (#42),

… I had thought that the word “guys” had become a more gender-neutral term to describe a group of people.

MJD says,

Male “gender supremacy” allows such thinking but will not consider the opposite i.e., I had thought that the word “gals” had become a more gender-neutral term to describe a group of people.

MarkN
In the US, the United States Pharmacopeia probably has a spec for purity of saline. I may be able to dig up at least the major points.

USP 32 specs the following for some impurities in sodium chloride (used at 0.9% w/v for normal saline):
Heavy metals 45 ppm maximum
Aluminum 0.2 mg/g max; footnote: If for use in peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis or hemofiltration solutions.
Magnesium and alkaline earth metals 0.01% maximum
The table this came from does not show a separate allowance for aluminum for other uses; the three uses noted would be higher risk than others because of the volumes used.
USP will also have a specification for water for parenterals. High purity water is much “easier” to produce at point of use now than it was many years ago, but the USP standard isn’t spectacularly high. You can buy a litre of Sodium Chloride Injection USP for a couple of dollars. A litre of high purity lab water will run to tens of dollars.

++++
With regard to particulates, standard filter needles have 5 µm filters. Such needles are recommended for draw-up from glass ampules – contamination with glass particles commonly occurs when the ampule neck is broken. As far as I know, filter needles are almost never used for draw-up from elastomer-stoppered vials. I do not know why 5 microns was established as the norm, but I suspect it is somewhat arbitrary and a compromise between removing particles known to be undesirable and the time taken for draw-up (it can take quite a bit of time to draw up the contents of a large ampule unless the needle is very large; filter needles are all around 18 gauge which is the largest in common use so reasonable in cost).

In other news…

One of Orac’s occasional commenters, James Lyons-Weiler, has a new book out about autism ( see TMR for raves).

I wonder if we’ll get free copies to review?

Speaking of which, RFK, Jr. is at it again. http://www.ecowatch.com/cdc-mercury-vaccines-kennedy-2226257805.html

That’s a heapin’ pile of horse flops from Kennedy. I’m heartened that “Dr. Bob” wasn’t used as the faux expert physician (I think Sears’ attorney told him to shut up and stop doing anything that might rile the CA medical board), but annoyed that Kennedy uses the newest anti-vaccine pediatrician–one odious Paul
Thomas MD, FAAP who has his own “alternative” vaccine schedule he claims prevents autism but forgets to tell us how in 2012 he got in trouble with the Oregon Medical Board for prescribing narcotics. Yeah, a real “expert” that Thomas is. And if you’re playing anti-vaccine shill bingo, Kennedy’s article pretty much plays them all.

There are hints of a scandal about how [Gatti and Montanari] came to have a personal electron microscope
See here:
http://www.messinaora.it/notizia/2013/12/18/montanari-grillo-e-il-microscopio-della-discordia-ma-i-metalli-pesanti-nel-cibo-ci-sono/19771

As far as I can tell, it all started about 2006 when Gatti and Montanari complained that the University of Modena had stopped them from using its EM for their research into toxic emissions. Grillo launched the campaign to raise €378,000 for a new EM that would allow the vital work to continue.

All culminating in accusations that Gatti and Montanari are using their toy not for environmental activism, but for a profitable business selling analyses through their company Nanodiagnostic Ltd.; and accusations from Montanari that Grillo just raised all that money for them as a way of exploiting them for political gain. Lawyers and defamation suits are involved. Meanwhile the original EM at the University of Modena is still available to Gatti, but only for University work.

I wonder how much the whole story was an inspiration for Mike Adams and his contamination-testing lab-coat cosplay.

Understand, I don’t want to be an Orac minion if “gender supremacy” is the accepted language here at RI. ?

You should be careful what you ask for. Orac is a kind and benevolent overlord and might just grant you your wish.

Paul Thomas, the “Vaccine-Friendly”* pediatrician, recently wrote a review of an antivax book (which he liked, natch) in which he repeated the trope that vaccine makers have complete immunity from lawsuits, and claimed that it was nearly impossible to get a monetary settlement from the vaccine court.

Thomas has a book out called “The Vaccine-Friendly Plan” which involves avoiding or delaying the great majority of childhood vaccines.

Speaking of recent (!) additions to the antivax literature, there’s now a reprint of a golden oldie, “The Horrors Of Vaccination” (1870) by none other than Chr. Charles Schieferdecker Schieferdecker (I am not making this up).

Some of Schieferdecker Schieferdecker’s complaints have a modern ring:

“We protest against the transplantation of an an-
imal virus, taken from a diseased brute, into the
blood of our children ; the operation is nauseating,
barbarous, and unnatural. It is our opinion, that
the purity of the blood is the supreme basis of our
well-being ; but it is made impure, and becomes the
source of diseases, when it is mixed with this beastly
poison…
Dr. Hebra, professor of Therapeutics at Vienna,
and author of a ” Manual on Skin Diseases,” enum-
erates some twelve life endangering, anomalous dis-
eases liable to occur to a person under vaccination.”

https://www.amazon.com/Horrors-Vaccination-Chr-Charles-Schieferdecker/dp/3743325403/ref=sr_1_33?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486069326&sr=1-33&keywords=vaccination

Get your copy before they sell out!

O.M.G.! 1,821 particles! Holy crap! That’s horrible! The antivaxers are right that vaccines are hopelessly contaminated!

No. They. Are. Not.

Look at it this way. This is what was found in 20 μl (that’s microliters) of liquid. That’s 0.00002 liters. That means, in a theoretical liter of the vaccine, the most that one would find is 91,050,000 (9.105 x 107) particles! Holy hell! That’s a lot. We should be scared, shouldn’t we? well, no. Let’s go back to our homeopathy knowledge and look at Avogadro’s number. One mole of particles = 6.023 x 1023. So divide 91,050,000 by Avogadro’s number, and you’ll get the molarity of a solution of 91,050,000 particle in a liter, as a 1 M solution would contain 6.023 x 1023 particles. So what’s the concentration:

So, as someone who deals with molarity pretty much all the time, I have to step up a little bit here. I think you’re skipping a step or two in calculating molarity.

At least from what’s written, it’s not clear to me how big these particles are or how identical they are –I may go and look at the paper, but I really don’t know that it’s worth spending the time. ‘Molarity’ really only matters if you’re talking about molecularly identical species. If these particles are precipitates, then they are probably non-identical solid objects which have condensed out of solution during the evaporation process and are composed of a much more numerous small molecule (like a salt). To get to an initial molarity we really need to understand how small the particles are and what the molecular weight and density is of the fundamental chemical/salt… a large number of big particles would mean a higher base molarity of the original analyte which crystallized into the particle than the same number of a smaller particle. Are the particles micron sized or tens of nanometers? This would count for a factor as big as 10^9 in calculating molarity, which would take us from femptomolar clear up to high micromolar or low millimolar! We know little about the magnification: I can’t read it very well, but is that scale bar 2.0 mm? If so, the particles are relatively big. If the particles are just insoluble plastic beads or dust, it’s hard to count a molarity at all because any object like this is non-identical and has essentially no molarity (being the only one of its kind)… for such objects, usually colloids, we use mg/mL for concentration or weight percent.

Otherwise, the whole argument being made by this paper seems very screwy and poor quality to me. Hard to tell if the particles are from an outside source or got formed during evaporation with the precipitates… which are also particles. Can’t tell in the EDS if any spurious signals might have come from shooting the electron beam through the sample into the substrate, which can happen, especially if you’re probing at energies high enough to see some of these metals (I hit silicon from a substrate once when I was probing for titanium). Nothing about what they’re saying seems particular clear to me or interest worthy.

I wondered how long it would be before a chemistry pedant showed up. 🙂 Yes, I realize this was simplified. That doesn’t change the main point: That none of this is biologically relevant, particularly given that many of these were expired vaccines, some very expired, and given the lack of controls with, for instance, distilled, deionized water.

I’m going to raise another complaint with the paper: “About 20 microliters”. About? About? You just guessed at the volume of something you’re preparing for electron microscopy?
How about you use the right tool for the job, like a pipette (!) and actually know how much you are using?
I regularly pipette 5 microliters with confidence, and they’re telling me “about”. Humph.

Biologists may like this from the paper:
Figure 7: Image of an area in a Repevax drop where the morphology of red cells (red arrows) were identified.

If a sample has dried in vacuum and still looks like a red corpuscle, then it wan’t a red corpuscle. I’m guessing that it was really detritus from the nano-miniaturised submarine, the Proteus.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantastic_Voyage

“MJD says,
Why do you use the word “guys” when you clearly mean all others?”
Old Rockin’ Dave says,
Has MJD run out of discredited points about the topic at hand that this is what MJD picks on to criticize?
Old Rockin’ Dave also says.
Why does MJD constantly refer to himself in the third person? Is he quoting someone who shares his initials? Or possibly does he have the type of dissociative disorder in which patients are incapable of recognizing themselves in the mirror or feel as if they are observing their bodies from a distance?
Old Rockin’ Dave further says,
Has MJD never heard a woman in all female group address said group as “guys’? Perhaps MJD doesn’t get out much?

International Journal. Hmph.

When I started teaching at a regional campus of a Major University (a nice way of saying a little college bought up by a big one but under the same banner for email) I started getting “Call for Papers” and Call for Presenter emails from this that or the other International Journal of Official Sciency Stuff.

Of course, the idea of presenting in a foreign country was pretty attractive: good for my tenure bid, gets me more faculty development money for the year, travel I can deduct. Then I started noticing all the spelling and grammatical errors. I started thinking about scam emails. Googling these “journals” quickly exposed the predatory nature of these offers.

Ever since, whenever I hear anyone say “International Journal” of any thing, I take a hard, hard look.

@ Old Rockin’ Dave (~#58),

Keeping it simple, I learned in kindergarten that “guys” pee standing up, and sitting down, while “gals” only pee when their sitting down.

Therefore, “gals” should never be called “guys”.

MJD: Oh, knock it off! You’re winning no friends by pretending to be concerned about anyone else’s feelings. You’re a Trump voter (so, anti-semitic, probably racist, and certainly a despiser of women), an anti-vaxxer, too stupid to understand half the things you prattle about, a man who hates his own son, and you think everyone else is stupid and an easy mark. Over correcting doesn’t help; it just makes you look like even more of a slimeball. I’m sorry I called you a weasel earlier, because clearly, I was insulting the weasels.

@PGpig (#63),

I’ve been commenting for five years now.

The words “Respectful” and “Insolence” are not compatible by nature and therefore have caused much uncertainty when commenting.

Therefore, Orac is the architect of this unfortunate situation and any anger or frustration you may be experiencing is understandable.

JustaTech
I suspect, but we’ll never know because the methods section is so bad, that they used standard disposable medical syringes and needles and simply ejected a drop from the needle tip. As you probably know, that is moderately difficult due to sticktion of the plunger and the surface tension of the fluid (probably fairly variable depending on surfactant content of the vaccine and whether or not it was a solution of suspension), so I would expect substantial variability in droplet size. To get 50 drops per millilitre, you need a tip of quite small diameter. It used to be considered that a millilitre would yield about 15-16 drops with an “eyedropper.” Not only do they fail to adequately describe how the drop was dispensed, they make no mention at all about how the sample was removed from the vial. I would expect decapping would be prone to adding particulates.

And what the heck is “adhesive carbon”?

Herr Dok, I looked at those images and was quite baffled. I recall RBCs being rather more consistent in size. An why on Earth would they be clustered? Perhaps they were three little RBC siblings holding hands while crossing the street, only to suffer the dreadful fate of Wanda June just before her birthday.

Maybe the method used can’t detect it, but those vaccines are all blissfully free of nitrogen. So much for those horrible foreign proteins.

Titling the paper New Quality-Control … is a bit rich considering the apparent lack of quality in the methods.

MJD: The words “Respectful” and “Insolence” are not compatible by nature and therefore have caused much uncertainty when commenting.

Dude, it’s sarcasm. Also, every once in a while, Orac has been mostly respectful to people who appear deeply misguided.

MJD: Any anger or frustration you may be experiencing is understandable.

Condescending prick. I get frustrated when I am dealing with idiots. Unlike you, I understand Orac’s intent perfectly, and he has nothing at all to do with my current state of mind.Mostly, I dislike that my whole country turned into evil soulless idjits overnight. Because of the dude YOU voted for, btw.

Gilbert @44, on the ProMed mailing last the other day, Hyland finally announced that they’d no longer distribute atropine, erm, I mean Belladonna teething products in the US.
The rest of the world remains in danger, obviously.

Tis a pity that hurricane Sandy spared that facility.

MJD:
I’m guessing that you went to kindergarten several decades past. Things have changed since then. Sometimes you just have to change with them.
L. P. Hartley says:
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”

“Therefore, Orac is the architect of this unfortunate situation and any anger or frustration you may be experiencing is understandable”.
That brushing that you hear is MJD picking nits.

1. Orac did not provide any references showing how much of any of these contaminants is safe.
2. What about catalytic effects of the contaminants?
3. Aluminum became a immunologist’s dirty secret because, it was a contaminant that made vaccines work better (in some ways).May be we will discover that these contaminants too have an effect?

I think it’s perfectly culturally acceptable to refer to a group of people as “guys” (or even “dudes”) today. Regardless of their plumbing.

MJD, I find myself agreeing with PGpig. What on Earth have you done?

On James Lyons-Weiler, his new book is publushed by Skyhorse -who would have guessed – and he is flogging it on every comment thread on the internet. I have been rude about it once or twice.

The paper in question: Person with an electron microscope uses it to drive in screws. If you look at dried drops of water with an electron microscope all you are ever likely to see are the impurities left behind. Absolutely no surprises there. Sadly Gatti thinks they have discovered a gold mine. To understand how much junk this paper is, read the disclaimer at the end.

Junk science; junk journal. Fraudulent science; premier journal. Etc. Mad world, my masters.

Yeah, Fendlesworth has taken to impersonating regular commenters now. If the e-mail you use is publicly accessible (e.g., you use a university address to post here), you could potentially be a victim. I think he’s figured out that I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing him in his first benign-seeming comment that he posts in order to get me to approve it and let him comment. There have been a lot of attempts over the last couple of days, and I’ve denied them all. What bothers me is that it’s certainly possible that one or more of those attempts might have been someone other than Fendlesworth trying to post. I doubt it, but the longer the increased vigilance goes on, the more likely it is that I’ll inadvertently shut out new commenters who aren’t a Fendlesworth sock.

In any case, keep an eye out for posts by regulars that don’t sound like them. Help each other out, in case the person being impersonated doesn’t see the comment impersonating him or her.

Yeah, Fendlesworth has taken to impersonating regular commenters now.

Such a class act, that one.

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