Christopher Aluminum Exley, who thinks that the aluminum in vaccines causes everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease and is a favorite target of my snark, disappeared after he left his academic appointment at Keele University in the UK.
In case you were wondering, Christopher Exley is still pushing false information about aluminum and vaccines. Of course, when does an anti-vaxxer ever really disappear from the world of pushing their nonsense?
Let’s catch up on Christopher Aluminum Exley, just so you know he’s alive and well. And still inventing claims about vaccines.
Who is Christopher Aluminum Exley?
In a blog post, he claims that everyone calls him “Mr. Aluminum.” I doubt this, although no doubt the anti-vaccine zealots do call him that. At best, he should be known as Christopher Aluminum Exley, not because he’s an aluminum expert, but because of his lack of knowledge regarding vaccine science.
In case you are unfamiliar with this person, he is (formerly) a Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University in Staffordshire, UK. Because of his consistent anti-vaccine stances, Exley has been blocked from raising funds for his pseudoscientific research. His grant applications were rejected by scientific research councils in the UK.
He then turned to GoFundMe to raise money for his “research,” and they also rejected him. GoFundMe stated that “campaigns raising money to promote misinformation about vaccines violate GoFundMe’s terms of service and we are removing them.”
Basically, he made his reputation in the anti-vaccine world by claiming that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines cause autism. He might have been on to something, except there isn’t even a tiny bit of evidence that shows that vaccines, aluminum or not, are linked to autism. None. In fact, massive amounts of peer-reviewed, published evidence show that vaccines have are not linked to autism.
He also writes articles about aluminum and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, although, like vaccines, there is no clinical evidence that aluminum is related to Alzheimer’s disease.
A guest author on this blog, VaultDwellerSYR, wrote a wonderful critique of one of Exley’s aluminum articles. VaultDwellerSYR is the pseudonym (there are legitimate reasons to do so, he is not a coward) of a real scientist who performs real published and peer-reviewed research into the brain.
VaultDwellerSYR made this crucial point about him:
I am reading through and so far references are: Exley, Exley, Exley, Exley, Exley, Lujan (the sheep dude), Exley, Exley, Gherardi, Exley, Exley, Exley, Exley, and Exley citing a previous article. Damn thats a lot of compensation here for the lack of being taken as credible by his peers.
In other words, Exley loves to quote Exley in his papers. Why? Well, probably because there’s no science out there to support his claims, so he has to rely upon his opinion pieces that are published in obscure and low-ranked publications.
So what is he doing now?
Like a lot of defrocked anti-vaccine “scientists,” they continue their grifting through whatever means possible. In Exley’s case, he set up the “Aluminium Research Group,” a amateur-designed website that seems to push his articles about aluminum and whatever nonsense that makes him happy.
He lists over 200 articles that he has authored (or co-authored), mostly on aluminum and neurological diseases. The vast majority of these articles are what I call “opinion pieces” — they propose hypotheses regarding aluminum and these diseases, but are not clinical trials, epidemiological studies, systematic reviews, nor meta-analyses. They do not provide primary or secondary research that matters to science.
I could spend time tracking down each of his articles and critiquing them, but that could get very boring. Let’s just focus on his attacks on vaccines, using aluminum as the ingredient in vaccines that cause all kinds of issues.
- In this article, Exley examines the aluminum content of various infant vaccines and claims that they are neurotoxins. He provides no scientific or clinical evidence that the tiny amount within these vaccines has any effect on children.
- In this opinion piece, which lacks any original, primary, or secondary research, Exley tries to claim that scientists are being dishonest about the dangers of aluminum in vaccines. Essentially, he claims that the aluminum in vaccines causes autism. Once again, and with all of the authority that I can muster, real science in the form of over 160 published articles has firmly established that there is no link between vaccines, aluminum notwithstanding, and autism spectrum disorder. Exley is trying to create a link when there is none. And let’s remember that the whole reason why we are even talking about autism and vaccines is because of the cunning fraud, Andrew Wakefield. Go read Brian Deer’s book, “The Doctor Who Fooled the World: Science, Deception, and the War on Vaccines,” if you want to know about how Wakefield defrauded the world over vaccines and autism.
- Another opinion piece that lacks any primary clinical or epidemiological research, Exley claims that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines are equivalent to an “acute exposure” to aluminum. Again, there is no link between any neurodegenerative disorder and vaccines (with aluminum adjuvants). Of course, the anti-vaccine Robert F. Kennedy Jr jumped on board:
- I actually spent a lot of time critiquing a whole list of his bad aluminum articles, and you can read it here.
I would like to spend some time taking apart his articles on aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, but here again, there is no clinical or epidemiological evidence that links aluminum to the disease. The current hypotheses on the causes of Alzheimer’s are complicated and still require further research (that’s why cures are so difficult to research) — none of the long list of hypotheses contain anything about aluminum.
If Exley wants to show us that aluminum is somehow related to Alzheimer’s disease, he needs to bring it with clinical research. Even research in some animal models. But that’s not his style, it’s pontificating with opinion pieces and letters to the editor in journals.
So, if you wonder what happened to Christopher Aluminum Exley after leaving (or being asked to leave) his academic position, it’s more of the same thing. Publishing garbage articles, while not providing a scintilla of clinical evidence that support his claims. Aluminum adjuvants in vaccines are safe and help promote an effective immune response. Those are the facts, despite Exley’s claims.
- Crépeaux G, Authier FJ, Exley C, Luján L, Gherardi RK. The role of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines raises issues that deserve independent, rigorous and honest science. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2020 Dec;62:126632. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2020.126632. Epub 2020 Aug 1. PMID: 32823165.
- Exley C. An aluminium adjuvant in a vaccine is an acute exposure to aluminium. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2020 Jan;57:57-59. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2019.09.010. Epub 2019 Sep 18. PMID: 31561170.
- Shardlow E, Linhart C, Connor S, Softely E, Exley C. The measurement and full statistical analysis including Bayesian methods of the aluminium content of infant vaccines. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2021 Jul;66:126762. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2021.126762. Epub 2021 Apr 15. PMID: 33887692.