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Got Mercury In Your Nasal Spray?

Just when we thought the plague of thimerosal -- the ethylmercury-based preservative found in infant vaccines -- was "limited" to vaccines, it turns out that deadly chemical was used by mega-drugmaker Wyeth in their formulation of Dristan distributed to most of this country until 1999!

If that doesn't get you blood boiling folks, keep reading. It gets worse...

For starters, California Proposition 65 forced Wyeth to make a choice between getting rid of thimerosal from Dristan or repackaging it with a warning label. The New Jersey-based megapharmaceutical company chose the first option, but only for Dristan distributed in California since 1994.

Although Wyeth introduced a thimerosal-free version of Dristan nationwide in 1994, due to consumer complaints about irritation from the new version, the drugmaker resumed its use of thimerosal in Dristan sold outside California until six years ago. It was only after an appeal from the U.S. Public Health Service in 1999 to remove thimerosal from pediatric vaccines, that Wyeth again producing thimerosal-free Dristan nationwide.

This time lag between the removal of thimerosal from Dristan and pediatric vaccines is the heart of a class-action lawsuit against Wyeth and a host of companies now being considered in Los Angeles District Court. The loophole in dispute: Because prescription drugs approved by the FDA are exempt from Proposition 65, vaccine makers weren't forced to choose between using warning labels in California or reformulating their products, as Wyeth was with Dristan.

Makes you wonder if news like this is just the tip of the iceberg!

And, if you still have any doubt about the toxic effect mercury can have on your child's body or, for that matter, your own, I urge you to read a startling study I posted earlier this year.

Los Angeles Times June 7, 2005

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