Friday, September 28, 2007

CDC study did not look at links between autism and mercury exposure

A friend of mine sent me a link to this NBC interview of J.B. Handley, whose son was diagnosed with autism.

J.B. Handley Interview Autism & Mercury Poisoning

According to Handley:

"If you line up 100 symptoms of mercury poisoning and 100 symptoms of autism, they are exactly the same."

Handley claimed to know hundreds of children who have completely recovered from autism after undergoing Chelation therapy to remove mercury and other heavy metals from their young systems. He said the process can take up to 2 years. His son had been treated with chelation therapy for a few months and he claimed he was already seeing a lot of improvement.

The reason I think this is noteworthy is because last night I was watching KSPR News and they reported, or gave the impression (I can't remember their exact words maybe someone else who watched the broadcast yesterday at 4:30 p.m. can correct me on the details), that a new CDC study claims there is no link to autism and mercury (or maybe they said thimerosal, not sure), and went on to say something to the effect that mercury/thimerosal can even be beneficial...this is paraphrased because I wasn't able to locate information about it on their website, it might have been there, I just didn't find it.

So, I tracked down this article about the study. Here are some excerpts:

"We found no consistent pattern between increasing mercury exposure from birth to seven months and performance on neuropsychological tests," concluded the study's authors in the Sept. 27 New England Journal of Medicine....

"...the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains there is no scientific evidence of such an association. And this latest CDC study did not specifically look at links between thimerosal exposure and autism. According to the study authors, a separate CDC case-control study focused on autism and mercury exposure, is currently under way."

Read the whole article. It didn't seem very convincing or authoritative to me that there is no link between autism and thimerosal (a vaccine preservative containing mercury). As a matter of fact:

"...the researchers found that boys with the highest levels of thimerosal exposure had about twice the risk of evaluator-observed tics compared to boys with the lowest exposure."

Then, Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who wasn't involved with the study in the first place, waived it all off as "chance:"

"Each test doesn't tell us as much individually," she said. "Chance alone probably explained these findings. The totality of the results are quite reassuring."

I'd say the verdict is still out on this one folks. I wasn't very reassured after reading the article about the study.


John Lilly said...

Hivdd performed a large population cohort study and found no difference in the reat of autism and autism spectrum disorders between infants vaccinated and not vaccinated with thimerosal.
JAMA 290 (13):1763-66, Oct. 2003.
Since 2000, the childhood vaccines have been mercury free or only with trace amounts. If mercury was the cause, newly diagnosed autism rates should be zero.

Anonymous said...

Mercury toxicity, Thimerosal & Autism

The information below may be of interest.

(Some of the links below may have to be "copy and pasted" into the web browser. )

Robert Kennedy Jr.
"Secret CDC meeting" in Georgia on Thimerosal in June of 2000.

Dr. Boyd Haley of the University of Kentucky Chemistry Department

Part 1 5:41 Autism / mercury / vaccines / Gulf war syndrome /
2000 IOM Conference Research funding corruption at 2004 IOM Conference / NIH

view this clip....

for some reason, the CDC will not fund further research with Dr. Haley on Thimerosol.


Jason said...

In 2004, the Bush administration tried to push through a blanket immunity to drug companies if the vaccines they created caused autism. (That was the moment I stopped supporting Bush, BTW.) I'm not surprised that any government entity isn't doing the research into mercury or thimerosol.

Jacke M. said...

According to the article I quoted:

"a separate CDC case-control study focused on autism and mercury exposure, is currently under way."

However, if people can't really trust the government's studies, and I think in this case their studies are suspect, then they aren't of much value.

I didn't know that about Bush. If there's no cause to believe that the thimerosal in vaccines cause autism then why would they need "push through a blanket immunity?"

I'd been hoping you'd weigh in on this, Jason. Glad you did. :)

Anonymous said...

From the Robert Kennedy article above....comments from Dr. Haley of the University of Kentucky..

"You couldn't even construct a study that shows Thimerosal is safe," says Haley, who heads the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky. "It's just too darn toxic. If you inject Thimerosal into an animal, its brain will sicken. If you apply it to living tissue, the cells die. If you put it in a petri dish, the culture dies. Knowing these things, it would be shocking if one could inject it into an infant without causing damage."

Internal documents reveal that Eli Lilly, which first developed Thimerosal, knew from the start that its product could cause damage -- and even death -- in both animals and humans. In 1930, the company tested Thimerosal by administering it to 22 patients with terminal meningitis, all of whom died within weeks of being injected -- a fact Lilly didn't bother to report in its study declaring Thimerosal safe. In 1935, researchers at another vaccine manufacturer, Pittman-Moore, warned Lilly that its claims about thimerosal's safety "did not check with ours." Half the dogs Pittman injected with Thimerosal-based vaccines became sick, leading researchers there to declare the preservative "unsatisfactory as a serum intended for use on dogs."

In the decades that followed, the evidence against Thimerosal continued to mount. During the Second World War, when the Department of Defense used the preservative in vaccines on soldiers, it required Lilly to label it "poison." In 1967, a study in Applied Microbiology found that Thimerosal killed mice when added to injected vaccines. Four years later, Lilly's own studies discerned that Thimerosal was "toxic to tissue cells" in concentrations as low as one part per million -- 100 times weaker than the concentration in a typical vaccine. Even so, the company continued to promote Thimerosal as "nontoxic" and also incorporated it into topical disinfectants. In 1977, 10 babies at a Toronto hospital died when an antiseptic preserved with Thimerosal was dabbed onto their umbilical cords.

In 1982, the ........