Frequently Asked Questions (ask your own)

What is Trace Amounts?

Trace Amounts tells the story of a man’s painful journey as he pieces together the link between the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal and the neurological damage that changed his life forever. During his research and making of the film, he learns of the global health crisis that links thimerosal to the autism epidemic. Trace Amounts explores the science, evidence, and historically significant actions during the decade-old debate of vaccine safety that still plays a major role in health choices for our children globally. Did mercury cause the Autism epidemic? Watch Trace Amounts and decide for yourself.


Who are the filmmakers?

The film is directed by Eric Gladen. Eric majored in engineering at Oregon State University, until a tetanus shot in 2004 changed his life. Trace Amounts is the true story of his painful journey through mercury poisoning that he believes resulted from a thimerosal-loaded tetanus shot. His discoveries led him on a quest for the scientific truth about the role of mercury poisoning in the Autism epidemic.


What is thimerosal (or thiomersal)?

Thimerosal (also called thiomersal) has been used as a preservative in vaccines since the 1930s. It is 49.6% mercury by weight and is metabolized into ethyl mercury and thiosalicylate. In 1999, as a precautionary measure, the Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics urged vaccine manufacturers to remove thimerosal from all infant vaccines as soon as was practical and recommended that studies be carried out to understand better the risks associated with mercury exposure from thimerosal-containing vaccines. As a result, in 2003, thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines, with the exception of inactivated flu vaccine in multi-dose vials.

There were 60,000,000 thimerosal-containing flu shots manufactured for 2014 alone, and many more millions in circulation in the United States. Globally, thimerosal loaded vaccines are still distributed to unregulated developing nations.


What do the filmmakers hope to accomplish?

The film and its makers adamantly call for the removal of thimerosal from all vaccines, including flu shots, in the U.S. and abroad, a process that has already been initiated by the CDC in the U.S. but is far from completed. This removal is eminently achievable through other vaccine preservatives and/or the manufacturing and distribution of single-dose vials. Also, we encourage consumers to ask for thimerosal-free vaccines when getting vaccinated.


Is this film “anti-vaccine” or “pro-vaccine”?

The filmmakers respect people’s decision to choose whether or not to vaccinate themselves or their dependents. Regardless of where you stand in the pro- or anti-vaccine debate, they believe that having mercury in vaccines is NOT necessary. It is NOT an acceptable risk!


Where can I get more information about the studies cited in the film?

Trace Amounts cites a great deal of research and evidence throughout the film to validate its point of view. All studies can be found here: “The Scientific Studies in the Film.”


How is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. affiliated with Trace Amounts?

Kennedy has written a book entitled “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak” that dovetails with the messages that Trace Amounts espouses about the harmful effects of mercury in vaccines. There are several stops on our 25-city tour where Kennedy and Eric Gladen, the film’s director, will speak together on this issue, along with other special guests from the film and the autism community. Additionally, all Trace Amounts movie-goers will receive a free eBook version of Kennedy’s book when a theatrical ticket is purchased.


Where are screenings of the film being held?

The filmmakers are taking Trace Amounts on a roadshow, showing the film in 25-plus markets across the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015, leading up to Autism Awareness Month in April. The road show will cover major metro markets, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and ultimately Washington, D.C. in early April. In addition to the planned tour stops, other Film Captains will be hosting screenings in their local markets.


How can I buy the film? What’s next for the distribution plan?

The film is screening in theaters and communities across the country. If you are able, please help bring the film to your community and share with your friends and family – you can find out how on this website under “Attend a Screening“. Later in 2015 there will be individual retail release online, streaming, DVD, and Video-On-Demand. The Trace Amounts team will announce these opportunities as they become available.


I want to host my own screening. How do I do that?

We’re excited that you want to be a part of the Trace Amounts team! You can visit our “Host Your Own Screening” section for additional information about hosting a screening in your area.


I want to be involved, but what if I am not political?

You don’t have to be ‘political’ to be an advocate of the Go Mercury Free cause. While some of the film covers policy issues, most of the film is about getting the word out about removing thimerosal from vaccines. It’s up to you whether you feel like you can share this information with a stranger on a bus, a classmate, a co-worker, or a legislator. No matter where you feel comfortable, there is a role for you in this movement!