Frequently there is some banter about the risk associated with adjuvants by people who consider vaccines more dangerous than beneficial. If a given vaccine lists an adjuvant that is toxic in isolation, how can I find out if it is inert or otherwise harmless in the overall composition of the vaccine?

  • Could whomever explain the vote to close?
    – mfg
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 16:36
  • "Questions on Skeptics are expected to generally relate to challenging a belief or truth, within the scope defined in the faq." I don't see how this relates to challenging a belief or truth. Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 4:57
  • @Jason Adjuvants are frequently discussed among vaccine supporters/opponents as not/disease causing agents.
    – mfg
    Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 14:19
  • Oh, I wasn't aware of that. I might suggest re-wording your question to mention it explicitly; as it is, it just seems like a question about vaccines rather than a question related to a belief about vaccines. I would withdraw my vote to close if I could. Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 16:03
  • Water is toxic in high doses. So the question is rather a non-sequitur.
    – JasonR
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


The important principle of toxicology here is

The dose makes the poison

by Paracelsus.

You have to find out the quantity of the adjuvant to compare it to known safety data. You can check Material safetey data sheets (MSDS) for those substances, or directly search for safety studies about those substances, e.g. on Pubmed.

The quantity of most additives in vaccines is very small, far below dangerous amounts.

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