Residuals from Manufacture


Formaldehyde is used to inactivate or turn off the bacterial or viral material in vaccines. It is an antibacterial substance also used for embalming and cleaning, and formaldehyde is a carcinogen (linked with cancer). The effects of exposure to formaldehyde via a vaccine injection have not been studied.

  • When we are exposed to formaldehyde vapour it can cause a variety of symptoms such as skin rashes, fatigue, headaches, cough, nose bleeds, burning eyes and allergies.63
  • Considered to be one of the ten worst compounds on the ecosystem and health, the California Indoor Air Quality Fact Sheet states there is no known threshold level below
    which cancer risk does not exist.
  • The World Health Orginisation (WHO) recommends that an exposure should not exceed 0.05 ppm or 0.05 mg/kg. For a 5kg baby the maximum exposure should be below 0.25 mg but with the current schedule, children receive more than ten times that amount. DTPa, polio, influenza, hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines have formaldehyde.

Residual proteins, bacteria and viruses from the growth medium, contaminate vaccines with potential allergens and diseases. These include VERO cells (African green monkey kidney epithelial cells), and MRC-5 culture media lung human diploid cell line from a 14 week old male fetus; both susceptible to a wide range of viruses. Another example is campylobacter contamination of vaccines grown in chicken embryos, which is associated with the development of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (paralysis) after vaccination.

Vaccine additives have not been tested for their safety when injected, carcinogenicity (ability to cause cancer), and mutagenicity (ability to cause changes in DNA resulting in birth defects) before being approved for widespread use.

A list of ingredients is available for all vaccines. Prior to vaccination you can ask your doctor, immunisation provider or a pharmacist for a copy of the vaccine product insert which will give you this information. (Information is also available on web-sites listed in the resources section.)

63 Wantke F et al., Exposure to gaseous formaldehyde induces IgE-mediated sensitisation to formaldehyde in school children, Clin Exp Allergy, 1996, March; 26(3):276-280