Let me cut to the chase - whoever wrote this "rebuttal" implies, but does not state (or show their work) that the vapor rising from the tooth in the video is not being acted on by gravity, that the molecules/atoms are rising because they are moving from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration, in keeping with 2nd Law of thermodynamics. Well, if gravity isn't involved, then why is the vapor RISING? In the absence of gravity (which would be the same as the absence of gravitational influence), an expanding vapor/gas expands radially - equally in all directions. Yet, clearly, the vapor in the video is rising - so obviously
gravity is acting on it.
The US Congress has asked the country's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to conduct research on the connection between vaccines containing mercury and neurological disorders, further battering public confidence not just in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but in vaccine manufacturers as well.
The use of the term 'epidemic' to describe autism is an insulting and derogatory term to apply to a whole subsection of people. It has connotations way beyond its literal meaning and can only add to the misinformation and hysteria which already surrounds autism.
Until the Clean Air Mercury Rule was signed in March 2005, coal-fired electric utilities were the only remaining, unregulated major source of industrial mercury emissions in the United States. Proponents of coal-burning power plants assert that methylmercury is not a hazard at the current environmental levels, that current technologies for limiting emissions are unreliable, and that reducing mercury emissions from power plants in the United States will have little impact on environmental levels. Opponents of coal-burning plants assert that current methylmercury exposures from fish are damaging to the developing nervous system of infants, children, and the fetus; that current technology can significantly limit emissions; and that reducing emissions will reduce exposure and risk. One concern is that local mercury emissions from power plants may contribute to higher local exposure levels, or "hot spots." The impact of the Mercury Rule on potential hot spots is uncertain due to the highly site-specific nature of the relationship between plant emissions and local fish methylmercury levels. The impact on the primary source of exposure in the United States, ocean fish, is likely to be negligible due to the contribution of natural sources and industrial sources outside the United States. Another debate centers on the toxic potency of methylmercury, with the scientific basis of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) recommended exposure limit questioned by some and defended by others. It is likely that the EPA's exposure limit may be appropriate for combined exposure to methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), but may be lower than the available data suggest is necessary to protect children from methylmercury alone. Mercury emissions from power plants are a global problem. Without a global approach to developing and implementing clean coal technologies, limiting US power plant emissions alone will have little impact.
Our review revealed no evidence of harm caused by doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for local hypersensitivity reactions. However, some infants may be exposed to cumulative levels of mercury during the first 6 months of life that exceed EPA recommendations. Exposure of infants to mercury in vaccines can be reduced or eliminated by using products formulated without thimerosal as a preservative.
The results do not support a causal relationship between childhood vaccination with thimerosal-containing vaccines and development of autistic-spectrum disorders.
The body of existing data, including the ecologic data presented herein, is not consistent with the hypothesis that increased exposure to Thimerosal-containing vaccines is responsible for the apparent increase in the rates of autism in young children being observed worldwide.
One of the key points that advocates of the 'autism is mercury poisoning/mercury causes autism' theory often cite in defence of their theory is that autism wasn't diagnosed until Mercury started to be used in vaccines. Shortly after it was, they say, autism started to be diagnosed. Pretty impressive eh? Well, no. Not really. Leaving aside the fact that citing this as evidence is akin to saying that breathing causes ear infections because I never got an ear infection until after I started breathing, there's very compelling (and fascinating) evidence to indicate that autistics have been with us since the Victorian era (early 1800's).
A 'new' autism hair study about toxic metals and essential minerals was recently published and indexed on Pubmed. I say 'new', because this doesn't appear to be a 'new' study at all. It's been available on Jim Adams's website at ASU for some time, as it was apparently originally written three years ago.
It's pretty clear that Dr. Deth acknowledged only 3 months ago, that available scientific evidence did not make the Thimerosal-autism link a “near certainty” at all, since he speculated that this would happen within 18-24 months into the future. His speculating that it would happen, clearly implies that this had not happened yet, in his opinion. So the question is, what groundbreaking, peer-reviewed, published research has become available in just 3 short months that now makes him confident in stating that there is strong evidence linking Thimerosal to autism to the Governor of Hawaii?
Ninety percent of parents of autistic children who attended also gave short shrift to the thimerosal theory, viewing media hype and Kirby's Evidence of Harm as hindrances to determining real causes, treatments, and interventions for this increasing diagnosis.
Exposure to mercury can cause immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions similar to traits defining or associated with autism, and the similarities extend to neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters, and biochemistry.
Many and perhaps most cases of idiopathic autism, in which an extended period of developmental normalcy is followed by an emergence of symptoms, are induced by early exposure to mercury.
Although the NAS is not a medical research charity it has supported parents rights to choice for their children. The use of thimerosal-free vaccines is recommended and moves are underway towards the elimination of organo-mercurials.
The authors conclude that there is no evidence of an association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and autism in children. They also found no dose-response association between autism and the amount of ethyl mercury received via thimerosal.
This study compares mercury excretion after a three-day treatment with an oral chelating agent, meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), in children with autistic spectrum disorders and a matched control population. Overall, urinary mercury concentrations were significantly higher in 221 children with autistic spectrum disorders than in 18 normal controls.
Any cases more than ten years old would make neither the state nor Statens Serums Institut liable according to Danish law, and, since Statens Serums Institut stopped using preservatives in their vaccinations in 1992, there would be no liability even if a definite link between autism and vaccinations were to be found now. I repeat, there would, under Danish law, be no liability for childhood vaccinations containing thimerosal causing autism.
When a study revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines may have caused autism in thousands of kids, the government rushed to conceal the data -- and to prevent parents from suing drug companies for their role in the epidemic.
A few weeks ago we heard about new research out of UC Davis' MIND institute suggesting that thimerosal dysregulates Dendritic Cell (DC) signaling. Not really a surprise but let's look at how this may be relevant to autism, if at all. Again we'll need to look out for 'waffle words' where we would expect more specific terms. Words that hint at the direction of an effect in place of words like dysregulate and disrupt. Vague words can be misleading and may give the false impression that the immune dysregulation observed in the dendritic cells from these experiments is similar to patterns reported in autistic children. I'll try to clarify the meanings of these waffle words as I read through the paper but first let's look at the press release.
Analysis of the article, Comparison of blood and brain mercury levels in infant monkeys exposed to methylmercury or vaccines containing thimerosal.
What in the world? How is it that these hair samples from presumably randomly selected neurologically NORMAL babies could have rates of mercury up past 100 times the statistically normed level for children age 1-5? Talk about mercury moms! Who are the parents of these kids with 30 to 100 times the normal amount of mercury in their baby hair? Why in the world did this paper call these comparably very high levels "normal" and call the autistic babies' hair levels "reduced"?
The September 2004 issue of Molecular Psychiatry (may not have been available at your local news-stand) contained an article by Dr. M. Hornig et al titled, "Neurotoxic effects of postnatal thimerosal are mouse strain dependent". Athough the title doesn't give any hints (other than the mention of thimerosal), the article is all about autism. This struck me as strange, since I had a hard time imagining how you would tell if a mouse was autistic. But, I digress.
In 2003, a special master who presided over a case of alleged vaccine injury issued a report that severely criticized Dr. Geier's analysis of a case. The ruling is espcially noteworthy because the special master referred to him as "a professional witness in areas for which he has no training, expertise, and experience" and listed nine other cases in which Geier's expert testimony was given "no weight."
While browsing through the literature on autism and thimerosal, I ran across a number of articles by the father-son team of Mark and David Geier. The elder Geier is a geneticist; the younger will soon graduate or has recently graduated from medical school. Together, they have written over ten papers on autism, vaccines and thimerosal. The source of Geier and Geier's "data" for much of this flock of publications is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database. And thereby hangs a tale...
Examination of California DDS data and VAERS reports.
5'-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling was employed to explore the effects of methylmercury (MeHg) on cell cycle kinetics in the developing rat midbrain during gestational days (GDs) 11 to 14. Contrary to what has been previously reported in mice, no effects of MeHg on cell cycle kinetics were observed up to embryonic brain concentrations of 3–4 µg/g. The absence of an effect was confirmed using stereology and counts of midbrain cell number. Treatment with colchicine, the positive control, resulted in significant effects on cell cycle kinetics in the developing rat midbrain. The parallelogram method, borrowed from genetic toxicology, was subsequently used to place the data obtained in the present study in the context of previously collected in vitroand in vivo data on MeHg developmental neurotoxicity. This required developing a common dose metric (µg Hg/g cellular material) to allow in vitro and in vivo study comparisons. Evaluation suggested that MeHg's effects on neuronal cell proliferation show a reasonable degree of concordance across mice, rats, and humans, spanning approximately an order of magnitude. Comparisons among the in vivo data suggest that humans are at least or more sensitive than the rodent and that mice may be a slightly better model for MeHg human developmental neurotoxicity than the rat. Such comparisons can provide both a quantitative and a qualitative framework for utilizing both in vivo and in vitro data in human health risk assessment.
The spike in the incidence of autism after 1990 may be attributable to increased attention to the disorder, as well as to a change in the diagnostic criteria that occurred in 1994, the authors suggest.
Let's take a look at Deth's most recent publication and make a weak attempt to ignore the less important information: Activation of methionine synthase by insulin-like growth factor-1 and dopamine: a target for neurodevelopmental toxins and thimerosal.
The move follows recent research in the United Statesman that suggests a connection between thimerosal - the mercury-based preservative in the whooping cough vaccine, and autism.
A great deal of ongoing research seeks to identify causes of autism, including investigations of genetics, birth trauma, increase in maternal age, metabolic and environmental factors. No research exists that conclusively proves that autism is a consequence of mercury toxicity. However, a 2004 Institute of Medicine review of five large epidemiological studies did conclude that there is no causal association between thimerosal and autism... Environmental protection is a noble goal. Exposure to potentially toxic substances should be minimized, and viable alternatives for mercury-based preservatives in vaccines should be developed. However, in their efforts to draw attention to environmental and public health problems, advocates and journalists should also be careful not to disseminate inaccurate information about autism.
(Hornig) chronically overdosed her mice with thimerosal in a manner that does not mimic the vaccine exposure infants received during the 1990's in the U.S., and got almost no behavioral change out of them, but she did get what looks like peripheral neuropathy which she didn't report in the original paper. Since all this mercury didn't seem to affect the non-immune-sensitive mice at all, how dangerous can mercury be? She doesn't report if the other mice had peripheral nerve damage symptoms maybe all the mice she injected with mercury started to chew on their feet because of the peripheral nerve damage. But now, she will put mercury in her mice again and then, later inject gold into them. Presumably, she will inject the gold, since that was the treatment Donald T got. But, maybe she'll mix up a "transdermal" gold-salt cream. The gold is supposed to act like a chelator, even though there's no biochemical reason to think that it would act that way in the human or mouse body.
"Perhaps more troubling is that the ad implies that those of us whose names and institutions are prominently displayed are convinced that there is a causal connection between mercury exposure and autism risk. However, we do not believe there is a proven connection between mercury and autism... GenerationRescue's advertisement, at first appearance an innocuous gesture of appreciation, may actually mislead the public into thinking that the mercury-autism hypothesis has stronger support in the scientific literature than it actually does."
There has been a lot of talk about the significance of glutathione in autism and how it might be depleted by mercury exposure. I thought I would attempt to review what we do and do not know about glutathione and autism and how it may relate to mercury toxicity.
Do you suppose you have mercury in your body right now? Lets say you weigh 70 kilograms, how much mercury are you likely to have in your body? Autism Diva suspects that most people, if they thought about it, would say that we humans are made of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, calcium, phosphorus and iron and maybe iodine and copper, zinc and magnesium. How often do we think about how much gold and silver we might be toting around even if we are not wearing jewelry or carrying coins? Gold .2 mg, Silver 2 mg... How much mercury is likely to be in you if you weigh 70 kg? How about 6 mg?
A new study out today titled: Cultured lymphocytes from autistic children and non-autistic siblings up-regulate heat shock protein RNA in response to thimerosal challenge... The main conclusion we are able to draw from this study is that lymphocytes, be they from autistic or non-autistic children, respond to zinc chloride differently than thimerosal.
The mercury hypothesis has taken on many of the appearances of a false religion or cult and to some degree it serves them well. Take a substance that we all know to be dangerous and it makes it easy to divide the world into two groups, good and evil, pro-mercury or anti-mercury. The anti-mercury underdogs are persecuted by the government and pharmaceutical companies and a few rogue scientists, willing to step up and speak out against the establishment and the evils of mercury, are brought to the pulpit to preach.
The committee concludes that although the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines could be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders is not established and rests on indirect and incomplete information, primarily from analogies with methylmercury and levels of maximum mercury exposure from vaccines given in children, the hypothesis is biologically plausible. The committee also concludes that the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between thimerosal exposures from childhood vaccines and the neurodevelopmental disorders of autism, ADHD, and speech or language delay.
The committee also concludes that the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between thimerosal exposures from childhood vaccines and the neurodevelopmental disorders of autism, ADHD, and speech or language delay.
Part of the plan of the mercury parents has been to demonize thimersol. Dear Timothy (?) Wakefield, expert on toxicity, no doubt, recently explained that it was one of the most toxic substances on earth...
Discussion of the anti-vaccination bias of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons.
More proof in a sea of data showing no correlation between thimerosal/mercury and autism. In the study, which tested recipients of a MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, "researchers tracked the records of 31,426 children born in one district of Yokohama between 1988 and 1996. Study results revealed that autism cases doubled even after the combined vaccine was withdrawn: there were 48 to 86 cases per 10,000 children prior to withdrawal of the vaccine and there were 97 to 161 cases per 10,000 children afterward. The triple vaccine was removed in Japan in 1993."
the studies by Geier could not establish a causal relation between MMR and autism because of their methods -- such as using statistical measures incorrectly and omitting facts about their research approach. Similar problems were found in six other studies by Geier and one study by Blaxill, which reported findings of an association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. In addition, Geier's expertise in neurological disorders has been questioned.
This hotly disputed question will only burn brighter as more biological evidence surfaces to suggest a link. But a definitive answer might take years.
Kirby's account of the tantrums and tirades of anti-mercury campaigners suggests that there is some danger that the public's good will is being abused and exploited as a license to behave badly. He reports the experience of the Wall Street Journal, which found itself confronted with a 'hornets' nest of moral intimidation' when it published a critical commentary on the anti-thimerosal campaign. Journalists received threats and harassment, and prominent supporters of childhood immunisation were 'targeted as baby-killers and compared to Hitler' (5).
The gender segregation of autism shows boys are 4 times as likely to be autistic as girls. There are no clear evidential paths that can account for this yet and bearing this in mind, it seems puzzling that mercury could be used as a scapegoat for all incidences of autism as claimed by Generation Rescue and its proponents. Or could it? Does mercury affect boys more than girls?... Seems pretty clear cut though -- there's no gender favouring from mercury. And bearing that in mind, how do we account for all the autistic boys? Where are all the girls?
Administration of vaccines containing thiomersal does not seem to raise blood concentrations of mercury above safe values in infants. Ethylmercury seems to be eliminated from blood rapidly via the stools after parenteral administration of thiomersal in vaccines.
Bernard noted that the growing prevalence rate of autism closely matches the introduction and spread of thimerosal-containing vaccines and that autistic symptoms generally emerge at the time the child is given these vaccines
Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental toxin that causes a wide range of adverse health effects in humans. Three forms of mercury (elemental, inorganic, and organic) exist, and each has its own profile of toxicity. Exposure to mercury typically occurs by inhalation or ingestion. Readily absorbed after its inhalation, mercury can be an indoor air pollutant, for example, after spills of elemental mercury in the home; however, industry emissions with resulting ambient air pollution remain the most important source of inhaled mercury. Because fresh-water and ocean fish may contain large amounts of mercury, children and pregnant women can have significant exposure if they consume excessive amounts of fish. The developing fetus and young children are thought to be disproportionately affected by mercury exposure, because many aspects of development, particularly brain maturation, can be disturbed by the presence of mercury. Minimizing mercury exposure is, therefore, essential to optimal child health. This review provides pediatricians with current information on mercury, including environmental sources, toxicity, and treatment and prevention of mercury exposure.
Tests in monkeys showed that the ethyl mercury contained in the vaccine preservative thimerosal is cleared quickly by the body, while methyl mercury persists much longer. This suggests that current Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on mercury exposure should not apply to the type of mercury in vaccines -- and could help answer doubts about the safety of some vaccines, the researchers wrote in this week's issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.
They are both environmental theories. They both rely on the notion that someone is to blame. They both largely deny heritiability, which incidentally is the only well known aspect of autism causality. They are largely incompatible with neurobiological differences in autistics. They are largely incompatible with any cognitive advantages of autism. They lack any real scientific backing. They are supported by scientists of dubious integrity. They both assume that autism can't be anything but pathological. And last but not least, both theories are simply wrong.
Autism is a neurological disorder cause by dysfunctional metabolic control over methylation reactions, and thimerosal appears to be a precipitating factor in many cases..
Abnormalities in glutamatergic neurotransmission have been invoked in the pathogenesis or pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia, a neurological disorder that shares distinct common features with autism...
We hypothesized that autoimmune propensity influences outcomes in mice following thimerosal challenges that mimic routine childhood immunizations. Autoimmune disease-sensitive SJL/J mice showed growth delay; reduced locomotion; exaggerated response to novelty; and densely packed, hyperchromic hippocampal neurons with altered glutamate receptors and transporters. Strains resistant to autoimmunity, C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ, were not susceptible. These findings implicate genetic influences and provide a model for investigating thimerosal-related neurotoxicity.
So, now we have a very different picture of the killer Hornig mice. SJL/J male mice are prone to agression and the females are prone to biting their wounds. If they developed some nerve pain from the thimerosal, biting their limbs would be a very predictable reaction, but maybe they got wounds from another source. There's reason to think that Dr. Hornig broke her lab's rules by allowing the mice to hurt themselves and hurt other mice. If she allowed the SJL/J males to remain in the same cage together past 8 weeks she was "asking" for them to get hurt. She should have explained that the SJL/J mice are prone to aggression always, not just when they are given thimerosal.
Dr. Geier, who is a geneticist and an obstetrician, is not qualified to give a neurological diagnosis... In other cases, Dr. Geier's testimony has similarly been accorded no weight... It is doubtful that Dr. Geier meets the AMA guidelines for expert witnesses. Dr. Geier's expertise, training and and experience is in genetics and obstetrics. He is, however, a professional witness in areas where he has no expertise, training and experience. Petitioners must seriously consider whether they want to proceed with a witness whose opinion on neurological diagnosis is unacceptable to the undersigned.
A week ago, I posted an article that touched on a truly appalling study of autism and mercury, "Reduced levels of mercury in first baby haircuts of autistic children." On careful reading, I have determined that this study is so bad it deserves a more careful analysis. So, in the interest of public education, I have decided to dissect it here in my blog. Those of you who are squeamish may want to check back in a few days. OK, gloves on, protective eyewear in place...here we go!
The authors imply, in the introduction, that one of the reasons they began this study was that some autistic children had presented to Dr. Holmes' practice with low hair mercury levels. Finding that all 94 autistic subjects in this study had low hair mercury levels, they then proceded to a conclusion that was not supported by their data. Given that the only thing they measured in this study was hair mercury level, the only thing that their data support is that autistic children have low hair mercury levels.
One of the autism causation theories currently circulating is the theory that mercury causes autism. This theory follows a long line of theories that hold the "promise" of allowing parents to cure their autistic offspring. We've been through this before - we've seen the refrigerator mother theory. We've seen the demonic possession theory. We've seen changeling and elves. We've seen holding therapy. We've seen secretin. We've seen mega-doses of vitamins. We've seen gold salts. We've seen the MMR and the leaky gut theory. All these share, with mercury, a complete absence of valid scientific evidence. I doubt we've seen the last of the unscientific theories, either.
The prevalence of pervasive developmental
disorder in Montreal was high, increasing in recent birth cohorts as found in most countries. Factors accounting for the increase include a broadening of diagnostic concepts and criteria, increased awareness and, therefore, better identification of children with pervasive developmental disorders in communities and epidemiologic surveys,
and improved access to services. The findings ruled out an association between pervasive developmental disorder
and either high levels of ethylmercury exposure comparable with those experienced in the United States in the 1990s or 1- or 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations.
It seems that the medical science of the time (and now) says that Pinks disease has a causal relationship with mercury. It also seems very obvious to me that Pinks disease shares no commonality with autism whatsoever. It also seems clear to me that Clark uses Pinks disease in a vague manner with nothing substantive to back up his assertion at all. We're back to square one: Yes, mercury is bad -- no there's no evidence it causes autism.
The full text of Judge James A. Beaty's opinion in the case Doe vs. Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, in which Dr. Mark Geier was excluded as an expert witness due to a lack of relevant qualifications and failure to properly diagnose.
We put forward the medical hypothesis that autistic disorders, in fact, represents a form of testosterone mercury toxicity, and based upon this observation, one can design novel treatments for autistics directed towards higher testosterone levels in autistic children. We suggest a series of experiments that need to be conducted in order to evaluate the exact mechanisms for mercury-testosterone toxicity, and various types of clinical manipulations that may be employed to control testosterone levels. It is hoped by devising therapies that address the steroid hormone pathways, in addition to the current treatments that successful lower heavy metal body-burdens of mercury, will work synergistically to improve clinical outcomes... (I)t seems imperative that the avenue of potential treatment by manipulation of the steroid hormone pathways be explored immediately.
The American Dental Association (ADA) affirms the safety of amalgam. So do major dental organizations worldwide. But the ill-advised opposition maintains that the ADA has a "vested economic interest" in amalgams. The slightest reflection should show how foolish this is. Practicing dentists, from an economic point of view, would welcome any proof that amalgams were harmful. This would enable them to greatly profit by removing amalgams and making more expensive replacements. Integrity prevents dentists from doing this -- but, evidently, not every dentist.
Palmer et al. present an analysis in which they look for an association between Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting data for mercury and rates of autism and special education enrollment in Texas. In their analysis, the link between TRI release data and actual mercury exposure is not clear at all, and thus the conclusions drawn from the analysis are questionable.
The self-inflicted injuries in autism seem to come at least partly from the fact that some autistics don't always feel pain in the normal way, it can also be an emotional reaction to extreme frustration, overstimulation or understimulation. Autistics report different reasons for self-injury, and self-injury is not only found in autism.
Hair mercury levels among controls were significantly correlated with the number of the mothers' amalgam fillings and their fish consumption as well as exposure to mercury through childhood vaccines, correlations that were absent in the autistic group.
Dr. Geier has been paid as an expert witness and as a consultant in hearings before the Vaccine Compensation Act and in civil litigation involving adverse reactions. Similarly, David Geier has been a consultant in hearings before the Vaccine Compensation Act and in civil litigation involving adverse reactions to vaccines.
Although thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines used in Europe and North America, clinicians can nevertheless take comfort that influenza or other vaccines still containing thimerosal do not increase the risk of autism or other disorders of brain development. Clinicians in developing countries where conditions require preservatives can be reassured that thimerosal-containing vaccines are safe when used according to established guidelines. The conclusions of Parker et al are consistent with a recent review of this topic and with an even more recent study by Chen et al. Healthcare providers can use this evidence when discussing vaccination risks with parents.
Vaccination has been so successful that most of the diseases we immunize against have become rare. As a result, people tend to focus more on vaccines' possible side effects, rather than on their benefits. Alarmingly, the recent trend away from vaccinations is eroding our vaccine-driven safety net; it is estimated that only 80% of children receive immunizations today. Try to be discriminating when you read anti-immunization materials. They are often based on pseudo-science trumpeted by agenda-driven doctors and lawyers. By undermining the progress already made toward fully eradicating diseases such as whooping cough or hepatitis, such notions could lead to tragic consequences for your child or even for large numbers of children. When all kids are immunized, diseases cannot leap from child to child to form outbreaks. But as the incidence of vaccination drops, the risk of resurgent childhood diseases rises, imperiling kids and even those adults who were never immunized.
Westover asserts that those in public health are "unresponsive bureaucrats" with their feet stuck in the mud who don't care about the suffering of people. Nothing could be further from the truth. The people who I have the great fortune to work with every day in public health are driven by their compassion and concern for the well-being of others. Their work is guided and informed by the best available science, and they are constantly reassessing their work based on new evidence.
In fact, the meeting did not conclude that thimerosal was responsible for an increase in autism and did not discuss any cover up. It did discuss possible future studies... Kennedy's version is totally inconsistent with the transcript. Quite honestly, only someone with a preconceived belief in a causative relationship and who was fixed in that view no matter what the evidence, would view this meeting as "discussing how to cover up the damaging data."
No consistent significant associations were found between TCVs and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Conflicting results were found at different HMOs for certain outcomes. For resolving the conflicting findings, studies with uniform neurodevelopmental assessments of children with a range of cumulative thimerosal exposures are needed.
So the preparation of the article was heavily influenced by an antivaccination activist. Gee, why am I not surprised to learn this? Why didn't Salon.com just let Lujene Clark write the article? The result would have been the same. In any case, there's so much misinformation, paranoid conspiracy-theory raving, and one-sided stuff in this article that it's hard to know where to start. Fortunately, I've dealt with this topic a few times before recently. Here are just a few of the major problems with the article: Quote mining. Confusing correlation and causation. Double standards in looking at "conflicts of interest."The "hidden hordes" fallacy.
These are only a handful of selected citations from the last couple of years and it only took me ten minutes to compile. If I included all research that doesn't support a role for thimerosal and went back even further, I would need to dedicate an entire blog to the subject. How does that compare to the handful of citations that may possibly support a role if you use your imagination, wishful thinking, and considerable bias? If anyone believes any of these items can be explained by thimerosal exposure, please explain why and I will be happy to strike them from the list.
VK Singh has been a hero of the measles/mumps/rubella causation hype-othesis crowd, and such is sort of a hero for the mercury crowd, too. Bernie Rimland's Autism Research Institute funded this study, and Bernie's big on mercury as a cause for autism, these days. Singh says that mercury isn't to blame for autoimmune responses seen in some autistics. He says that autistics aren't low in metallothionein. (Review of Assessment of metallothionein and antibodies to metallothionein in normal and autistic children having exposure to vaccine-derived thimerosal, by Vijendra K. Singh and Jeff Hanson.)
Many of you have seen the shocking video of "mercury vapor" being released from an extracted tooth with a well-aged amalgam restoration ("filling"). In this video, the tooth is warmed to body temperature in a water bath and the "mercury vapor" coming off of it is made visible by holding the tooth in front of a fluorescent screen and illuminating it with ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light, strongly absorbed by the "mercury vapor", shows the shadow of a vapor plume rising from the tooth. Ever since I saw the video, I felt that there was something wrong with it...
As the writer who first told the thimerosal story in depth in the New York Times Magazine two and a half years ago, I have been astonished to see how badly it has been handled since... The Institute of Medicine agreed that the special medical problems of some autistics deserve closer scrutiny. But like the Institute of Medicine, I doubt that vaccine damage will figure into the story. And in the meantime, lawsuits could do severe damage to the vaccination programs that protect all of us.
I had forgotten about the Geiers' inability to use SAS. That was truly amusing when I found out about it. Let's also not forget their attempt to compromise the confidentiality of patients in the CDC database, either, or that David Geier's company exists mainly to sue vaccine manufacturers and the government.
Continuing vigilance is necessary regarding the safety of vaccines, as is open-minded evaluation of new evidence. However, such evidence must be of sufficient scientific rigor to provide a responsible basis for decisions that influence the safety of children. When information is incomplete, as it is at present for thimerosal-autism questions, a balancing must be made of risks posed by vaccine constituents and the benefits of disease prevention achieved by keeping immunizations widely available. On the basis of current evidence, we consider it improbable that thimerosal and autism are linked.
It has been suggested that thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative in vaccines, is a risk factor for the development of autism. We examined whether discontinuing the use of thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark led to a decrease in the incidence of autism. The discontinuation of thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark in 1992 was followed by an increase in the incidence of autism. Our ecological data do not support a correlation between thimerosal-containing vaccines and the incidence of autism.
Today, with the exception of some flu vaccines, none of the vaccines used in the U.S. to protect preschool aged children against 12 infectious diseases contain thimerosal as a preservative.
Chart with the following info: Vaccine Brand Name; Manufacturer; Thimerosal Concentration; Mercury ug/0.5 ml
Two studies report that vaccines that contain thiomersal do not cause behavioural problems or developmental delay in young children. The studies, published in Pediatrics, are the University of Bristol's Avon longitudinal study of parents and children and a review article by US authors.
Thimerosal (also known as thiomersal), a preservative used in a number of children's vaccines, contains ethylmercury (an organic compound of mercury), and there has been concern that this exposure to mercury may be of some detriment to young children. The aim of this research was to test in a large United Kingdom population-based cohort whether there is any evidence to justify such concerns. We could find no convincing evidence that early exposure to thimerosal had any deleterious effect on neurologic or psychological outcome.
In this study, we evaluated doses of mercury from thimerosal-containing childhood immunizations in comparison to US Federal Safety Guidelines and the effects of increasing doses of mercury on the incidence of neurodevelopment disorders and heart disease.
A quick and dirty discussion of the following article: Determination of methylmercury, ethylmercury, and inorganic mercury in mouse tissues, following administration of thimerosal, by species-specific isotope dilution GC-inductively coupled plasma-MS.
There is a significant safety margin incorporated into all the acceptable mercury exposure limits. Furthermore, there are no data or evidence of any harm caused by the level of exposure that some children may have encountered in following the existing immunization schedule. Infants and children who have received thimerosal-containing vaccines do not need to be tested for mercury exposure.
We demonstrate that thimerosal in micromolar concentrations rapidly induce membrane and DNA damage and initiate caspase-3-dependent apoptosis in human neurons and fibroblasts. We conclude that a proposed combination of fluorescent techniques can be useful in analyzing the toxicity of thimerosal.
Discussion of Agrawal et al, Thimerosal induces TH2 responses via influencing cytokine secretion by human dendritic cells.
One thing that is for sure, there is certainly an under-ascertainment of all these [neurodevelopmental disorders] because some of the children are just not old enough to be diagnosed.
Some people have theorized that thimerosal in immunizations triggers the onset of autism. Scientific research does not support a link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. Two separate reviews in 2001 and 2004 by the Institute of Medicine could not establish a causal link between thimerosal and autism. In addition, in 1992 Denmark banned thimerosal. Since then, that country's autism rate has continued to increase.
Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative that has been used in some vaccines for many years. For each of the routinely recommended vaccines there are products available that do not contain mercury preservatives, including a hepatitis B vaccine. Some vaccines in pre-filled syringes and all live vaccines like measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), varicella and other vaccines are preservative-free.
I regard myself as a professional scientist who puts ethical value before any personal or material gains. I believe that I am currently employed by a company that has the same high ethical standards as myself. Therefore, any suggestion that GSK intended to have me manipulate this data is nothing short of an insult to both my and the company's integrity. Although I deeply regret such statements, I call on any party that truly has the safety of our children and the advancement of the health of the world's children at heart to move beyond such pitiable attitudes and focus on the future of the ongoing research.
Thimerosal, a mercury based preservative, is found in many vaccines in use today. Toxic effects of thimerosal may be responsible for adverse reactions in humans.
Studies do not demonstrate a link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and ASD, and the pharmacokinetics of ethylmercury make such an association less likely. Epidemiologic studies that support a link demonstrated significant design flaws that invalidate their conclusions. Evidence does not support a change in the standard of practice with regard to administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines in areas of the world where they are used.
What we have here is a superb study of what was, in effect, a real world before-after experiment. The study was huge, and comprehensive, covering almost 99% of children born in Denmark during a period during which a switch was made from use of a vaccine containing thiomersal to one that did not. It was the only vaccine given to children that did contain thiomersal. Moreover, diagnosis of autism or autistic spectrum disorder was according to strict criteria, and comprehensively applied. Follow up was for a minimum of four years, ensuring that almost all cases likely to occur should have occurred during that time. Of course, Denmark changed to having thiomersal-free vaccines. Even with good evidence of lack of association, that is a good thing. What we have, though, is powerful evidence that autism and autistic spectrum disorders do not arise from use of thiomersal in vaccines.
Alarmism is harmful at any dose. Just as political mudslinging can unfairly sully reputations, sensational news about health dangers can rattle public confidence -- whether or not the sensational report turns out to be true. "Something about modern living has driven a steady rise of certain maladies," reports a front-page article from the July 25th Wall Street Journal, which goes on to say that the culprit may be "the prevalence of certain industrial chemicals at extremely low levels [in the environment]." An issue of profound importance is raised by this startling declaration: exactly how dangerous are the industrial chemicals that are increasingly prevalent in our environment, and are they really causing an epidemic of cancers and childhood brain disorders?
Haley, until recently chairman of UK's chemistry department, is a leader in a nationwide effort to tie the vaccinations that were required for millions of American children to a rapid increase in the number of youngsters being diagnosed with autism. The devastating developmental disorder severely affects verbal communication and social interaction, and is thought to strike at least 25,000 children each year.
Haley is no stranger to controversy, or to disagreeing with his colleagues.
In the 1990s, he was one of a number of scientists who produced research suggesting that mercury given off by amalgam dental fillings could be a cause of Alzheimer's disease. Haley stuck to that theory, even as UK's Sanders-Brown Center of Aging was producing a study in 1999 that concluded there was no connection between dental fillings and Alzheimer's.
The autistic children in the Holmes et al study had over twice the mean hair mercury level of the NHANES group (of 838 children) and the Holmes et al controls had hair mercury levels of over sixteen times the NHANES level. What are they feeding those kids? Well, the only conclusion that you can draw from that data is that the Holmes et al study is garbage. My suspicion is that their laboratory - Doctor's Data - is the cause of the outrageously high levels of mercury found in the children - especially the control children.
Public confidence in vaccines and high rates of vaccine uptake are critical to the continued effectiveness of immunization programs. Even when risks are purely theoretical, experience has shown that unaddressed public concerns can drastically decrease immunization coverage, to the detriment of public health. Thus the call to remove thimerosal from vaccines seeks to maintain public confidence by avoiding even theoretical risk. NACI makes recommendations based on the best available scientific evidence. Vaccine safety is an essential consideration in any recommendation made by NACI. Concerns regarding thimerosal, as reviewed in the 2003 statement, were purely theoretical. Nevertheless, NACI identified them as important issues for further consideration and study. The weight of evidence now available, however, refutes any link between thimerosal and autism. As such, NACI concludes that there is no reason for vaccine providers or other health care professionals who may counsel individuals regarding immunization to raise any concerns regarding exposure to thimerosal.
A rough discussion of Waly et al, Mol Psych 2004. (Paper co-authored by Richard Deth, Northeastern University.) Overall, the work is very interesting but the materials and methods description leaves a lot to be desired and the effect on PLM was marginal, often only 2-fold across several orders of magnitude of effector concentration. Further, many questions arise such as the form of the metals (counterion description?) and ensuring that the ionic strength and the pH remained constant across the effector titrations. What would be particularly interesting is comparing this assay (using maybe a mouse neuro line) with a side-by-side animal model experiment.
Re: A Series of Studies to Analyze the Vaccine Safety Database
We don't know if an abundance of glial cells was responsible or even related to Einstein's genius but it apparently didn't cause him to be less intelligent or mentally disabled in ways we might expect from mercury toxicity. If glial cell expansion and activation is supposed to be an effect of thimerosal exposure how does that explain Einstein's brain?
Despite the obvious expectations of the authors (one is on the Executive Board of SafeMinds, yet another is a well-known anti-mercury advocate), the study found that the autistic children had lower hair mercury levels than the neurotypical controls. Rather than concluding that mercury protects against autism (which the data supports but is nonsensical) or at least is not associated with autism, the authors take a sharp turn off the road of reason and propose that the autistic children had impaired mercury excretion.
See folks, thimerosal isn't as demonic as he's been painted to be. And you can see how he comes to be about half mercury by weight, it's because he's one heavy mercury atom and a bunch of other lighter atoms. The medium sized gray balls are carbon atoms, the tiny balls are hydrogen, the yellow ball is sulfur, the red balls are oxygen. The little minus sign next to one of the red balls means that that oxygen atom has an extra electron on it and so it's a negatively charged ion.