“Moderna’s Covid injection — which has been administered more than 121 million times since the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) granted it an emergency use authorisation in December — includes 10 ingredients,” Factcheck.org wrote in May 2021, “it uses an ingredient called SM-102 to deliver the mRNA.”
So, what is SM-102 and is it harmful? Let’s find out wrote Jessica Rose.
By Jessica Rose
SM-102 is a lipid that you can order online for laboratory use. It is referred to as an ‘ionisable amino lipid’.
The first thing that any good ‘chemist’ does when ordering a new ‘chemical’ is to check out the Material Safety Data Sheet (“MSDS”) safety sheet.1 2 See the MSDS for SM-102. I will list 3 pages here as per Cayman’s SM-102 product listed online.
The symbols listed above are quite self-explanatory but I will explain them anyway. This lipid is listed as having the following hazards: flammable in liquid and vapour form, acute toxicity if swallowed or inhaled, hazardous to health, and mutagenic (causes cancer). It is listed as being 90% ethanol and 10% SM-102 and is known to cause anaemia, cough, CNS depression, drowsiness, headache, heart damage, lassitude (weakness, exhaustion), liver damage, narcosis, reproductive effects and teratogenic effects as per the First-Aid Measures and treatment from potential exposure.
Below is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA quick card for quick and easy recognition of the meanings of the pictograms.)
The little pictogram with the blue red and yellow set of diamonds at the bottom of the second page means that this product can cause temporary incapacitation or residual injury and will burn (flashpoint greater than room temperature) and is stable. Below are the analogous pictograms for gasoline and diesel. SM-102 is more dangerous from a health (blue) point of view than both gas and diesel.
The third page reinforces what page 2 primarily shows which are the protective conditions/measures one must apply or use when handling SM-102.3 I always made sure I followed these recommendations to the letter.
Now everyone should know that this ‘story’ has been ‘fact-checked’ by ‘FactCheck.org’ and their claim is that, quote:
Cayman Chemical offers a version of SM-102 for research purposes that is packaged in chloroform, a potentially toxic chemical. So, the safety data sheet from Cayman Chemical for that product includes warnings related to chloroform – not SM-102.
I don’t even know what they are trying to say here. It seems they are claiming that since the product is packaged in chloroform, which is toxic, that the SDS sheet pictograms refer to chloroform and not the listed product itself. As far as I know, this is not how it works. There is an SDS for chloroform, and there is an SDS for SM-102. They are separate and different. The product, as far as I can ascertain, has nothing to do with chloroform. It is suspended in ethanol.
I know how to read MSDS sheets. It’s a vital part of doing safe work in the laboratory environment. It’s the very first thing I do. I have actually been made fun of for being ‘too cautious’ for being very stringent about reading and abiding by SDS sheets, but when I see a skull and crossbones, I take it to mean that I should try not to be the skull and crossbones. Furthermore, if one does get hurt or damaged from not handling a product properly, asses are covered.
Without bias, I checked out the MSDS for SM-102 as I would for any chemical or new product I might be interested for using in assays or lab work. And I found the above. Now, digging deeper into this, or rather staying in the mindset of purchasing this product and using it in the lab context, I clicked on the link to the ‘Kit, Mixture & Library Option(s)’ tab, and it took me to the neat little ‘build-your-own-LNP’ kit (Lipid Nanoparticle (LNP-102) Exploration Kit) of which SM-102 comprises the cationic lipid456 in this kit. (Just to remind everyone, the cationic lipid for the P-fizer p-f-roducts is ALC-0315.) The analogous cationic lipid in the Mod(e)rna LNPs is this SM-102.
Notice in the SDS for the LNP-102 kit materials that the Application of the substance / the mixture reads, quote:
This product is for research use – Not for human or veterinary diagnostic or therapeutic.
Now then. Are you sitting down?
Go to the UK government website listed here. Here’s a screenshot that made me do a double-take.