Aluminum toxicokinetics regarding infant diet and vaccinations

Vaccine. 2002 May 31:20 Suppl 3:S13-7. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(02)00165-2.


Some vaccines contain aluminum adjuvants to enhance the immunological response, and it has been postulated that this aluminum could contribute to adverse health effects, especially in children who receive a vaccination series starting at birth. The pharmacokinetic properties and end-point toxicities of aluminum are presented. In assessing the relevance of dietary and medical aluminum exposure to public health, we estimated infant body burdens during the first year of life for breast milk and formula diets and for a standard vaccination schedule. We then compared those body burdens with that expected for intake at a level considered safe for intermediate-duration exposure. The methodology blends intake values and uptake fractions with an aluminum retention function derived from a human injection study using radioactive 26Al. The calculated body burden of aluminum from vaccinations exceeds that from dietary sources, however, it is below the minimal risk level equivalent curve after the brief period following injection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / adverse effects*
  • Aluminum / adverse effects*
  • Aluminum / pharmacokinetics*
  • Body Burden
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Vaccination / adverse effects*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Aluminum