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