by Rishma Parpia
The Vaccine Reaction

The recent public conversation about the safety of vaccine ingredients has centered primarily around mercury (thimerosal), aluminum and formaldehyde. However, there are other concerning ingredients in vaccines that are not talked about as often, one of which is Polysorbate 80—also known as Tween 80 and polyoxyethylene-sorbitan-20 mono-oleate.1

What is Polysorbate 80?

Polysorbate 80 is a surfactant commonly used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry.1 Surfactants are compounds that reduce the surface tension and increase the solubility between two liquids that would normally be unable to dissolve together, e.g. oil in water.2 3  Because of their ability to lower surface tension between liquids, surfactants are known for their spreading and wetting properties. Therefore, surfactants act as detergents, emulsifiers, wetting agents, foaming agents and dispersants.1 2

To prevent separation of liquids, Polysorbate 80 is present in several formulas such as skin care products, shampoos, makeup, ice-cream, processed salad dressings and sauces.3 4 Within the pharmaceutical industry, polysorbate 80 is used to improve and maintain consistency of gel capsules; assist in keeping medication suspended in liquids; in preparation of intravenous fluids; as an excipient in tablets, and in the manufacture of vaccines.1 4

Polysorbate 80 in Vaccines: Not Well Tested

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Excipient and Media Summary lists 10 vaccines that contain polysorbate 80:

  • DTaP (Infanrix);
  • DTaP—IPV (Kinrix);
  • DTap-HepB-IPV (Pediarix);
  • DTaP-IPV-Hib (Pentacel);
  • Influenza (Agriflu);
  • Influenza (Fluarix);
  • Meningococcal (MenB-Trumenba);
  • Pneumococcal (PCV13—Prevnar13);
  • Rotavirus (RotaTeq);
  • Tdap (Boostrix)5

According to the Material Safety and Data Sheet (MSDS) on ScienceLab.com, Polysorbate 80 was tested for inhalation and ingestion and demonstrated to be slightly hazardous in case of skin contact.6 The MSDS does not address the effects of polysorbate through injection. Nevertheless, in the same toxicology section under special remarks on chronic and toxic effects on human, it states that Polysorbate 80:

 May cause adverse reproductive effects based on animal test data. No human data found. May cause cancer based on animal test data. No human data found. May affect genetic material (mutagenic). Ingestion of very large doses may cause abdominal spasms and diarrhea. Animal studies have shown it to cause cardiac changes, changes in behavior (altered sleep time) and weight loss (upon repeated or prolonged ingestion). However, no similar human data has been reported.6

The fact that Polysorbate 80 “may cause cancer based on animal test data” and may be mutagenic alone should be enough to require vaccine manufacturers and the Food and Drug Administration to provide credible scientific evidence that it is safe to include  Polysorbate 80 in vaccines given to humans.

Polysorbate 80: Damage to the Brain?

In vaccines, Polysorbate 80 acts as an emulsifier to disperse all the other ingredients evenly within the liquid. Pediatrician Lawrence Palevsky, MD warns of the potential danger of using Polysorbate 80 as a vaccine ingredient.8He notes,

Polysorbate 80 is used in pharmacology to assist in the delivery of certain drugs or chemotherapeutic agents across the blood-brain-barrier.8 

This raises serious concerns of using Polysorbate 80 in combination with other reactive vaccine ingredients, which have the potential to damage the brain.8

The blood-brain-barrier is a barrier that separates the brain from the circulatory system and protects the central nervous system from harmful chemicals and other toxins. The blood brain barrier is particularly weak and more easily penetrated during infancy and in old age. Consequently, the concern with using Polysorbate 80 in vaccines is that it may permit the entry of other toxic ingredients, such as heavy metals, into the brain.2

Dr. Palevsky asks some crucial questions regarding whether Polysorbate 80 is having negative effects on and facilitating toxic insults to the brain via vaccination.

What viral, bacterial, yeast, heavy metal or other vaccine containing ingredient needs to pass into the brains of our children? Do they belong in the brain? Is that part of the needed immune response to protect our children from disease? Do vaccine materials pass across the blood-brain barrier with the help of Polysorbate-80? If so, are there complications from being in the brains of our children?8

Furthermore, once injected into the body, polysorbate 80 can rapidly break down into sorbitol and ethylene oxide.  Sorbitol has the ability to increase the risk of diabetes, cell death, mitochondrial failure and DNA fragmentation.2

Polysorbate 80: Damage to Uterus?

Research has demonstrated that Polysorbate 80 can lead to infertility in rats. A study published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology

discovered that Tween80 accelerated the rats’ maturation, prolonged the estrous cycle, decreased the weight of the uterus and ovaries, and caused damage to the lining of the uterus indicative of chronic estrogenic stimulation. The rats’ ovaries were also damaged, with degenerative follicles and no corpora lutea (a mass of progesterone-secreting endocrine tissue that forms immediately after ovulation). Such severe deformities to the ovary can lead to infertility.10

The question that needs to be answered is whether the demonstrated toxic effects of Polysorbate 80 in animals, including damage to the uterus and ovaries leading to infertility, applies to humans as well.

Polysorbate 80: Damage to Immune Function?

There are also concerns with the use of detergents in vaccines.  Our body has something called the Membrane Attack Complex (MAC)—one of the immune system’s toughest weapons.2 When the body identifies a pathogen, MAC proteins kill the cells of pathogens by tunneling through their surface membranes thus causing them to leak or explode.

Although there are similarities between MAC proteins and detergents in terms of their “attacking” function, detergents are not regulated in body in the same manner as MAC proteins.2 A protein known as CD59 regulates MAC; its role is to restrain other MAC proteins from attaching to our cells thus preventing them from rupturing.2

Due to the lack to regulating proteins in detergents, they attack cells randomly and have the potential to attack our own cells ignoring immune system alerts to cease attacking.2

Several studies illustrate that lack of CD59 protection can lead to damaged neuromuscular transmission junctions, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, stroke or fatal cerebral hemorrhage. Considering that regulatory CD59 protein is non-existent in injected detergents, all of the mentioned medical conditions are to be expected when using detergents in vaccines since they have no regard for other cells that would otherwise be protected by CD59 or other regulating proteins.2

Verdict on Polysorbate 80

It is obvious that there is a glaring lack of basic science research into the toxic effects of the vaccine ingredient, Polysorbate 80, on human health. Some argue that ingredients like Polysorbate 80 in vaccines are safe and not dangerous simply because they are present in vaccines in miniscule amounts.

However, the fact remains that the federal vaccine schedule directs doctors to give infants and children a whopping 49 doses of vaccines by the age of six.11 What are the cumulative effects of multiple vaccine ingredients on the human body? Shouldn’t we have the right to ask for evidence of short and long-term safety if we are going to inject something into our bodies or our child’s body?


1 Polysorbate 80: What it is? Drugs.com.
2 Polysorbate 80 RisksVaccine Choice Canada Dec. 9, 2013.
3 Polysorbate 80. TruthinAging.com.
4 Healy M. Is Common Food Additive to Blame for Rising Rates of Bowel Disease? Los Angeles Times Feb. 25, 2015.
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine Excipient and Media Summary. CDC.gov February 2015.
6 Material Safety Data Sheet Polysorbate 80. ScienceLab.com May 21, 2013.
7 Pond M. The Toxic Ingredients in Inoculations. The Weston A. Price Foundation Aug. 3, 2015.
8 Palevsky L. Aluminum and Vaccine Ingredients: What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know? International Medical Council on Vaccination Jun. 10, 2009.
9 Blood Brain Barrier Working Group. John Hopkins University.
10 Mercola J. What is in the flu vaccine that can cause infertility?Mercola.com Oct. 15, 2010.
11 Visualizing Childhood Vaccination Schedules Across G8 CountriesBritish Medical Journal 2015; 351.

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