Jewish World Review Sept. 10, 2004 / 24 Elul 5764
Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak
Mercury linked to autism
During the 1990s, millions of children were exposed to mercury above
federal guidelines because more and more routine shots contained
thimerosal, a mercury compound. (See our article "Are Vaccines Shots in the
Dark?"). Vaccine makers and many health officials say there is no "proof"
of a causal link between thimerosal and autism. Since 1999, most vaccines
contain only trace amounts.
But there are many degrees of proof and certainty in science, just as there
are in the courtroom, in politics or in life.
"Clinical judgment" is the standard for advising patients and making
decisions in everyday medical practice, based on what would be called a
"preponderance of evidence" in civil legal cases.
"Scientific proof" is typically "beyond a reasonable doubt," the standard
of proof required for a guilty verdict in criminal cases.
In our clinical judgment, there's enough evidence to convict these doses of
thimerosal and find them guilty of causing significant toxicity in many
children, leading to a spectrum of childhood diseases including autism.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) have failed in their responsibility to protect
Americans against unsafe medical and dental procedures, according to Boyd
Haley, Ph.D., a biochemist and chairman of the Department of Chemistry at
the University of Kentucky. Dr. Haley spoke at the Doctors for Disaster
Preparedness meeting in July 2004.
Officials often ignore research implicating mercury toxicity; at the same
time, the only research considered acceptable is rife with conflicts of
In this controversy, most government agencies seem to be demanding a
"beyond a reasonable doubt" standard of proof for research showing harm
from mercury while accepting a "preponderance of evidence" standard for
research exonerating mercury.
Let's review some of the evidence that has largely been ignored:
Since 1970, British health authorities have recommended vaccination
with thimerosal-containing vaccines. Even so, nearly 15 percent of British
children were not vaccinated between 1970 and 1980; only one autistic child
has been found in this unvaccinated group, in contrast with an epidemic of
autism among vaccinated children.
Athletes dying suddenly with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy have
22,000 times the usual level of mercury in the muscle of their hearts,
according to Dr.Haley. He stresses that all his data come from published,
Geier and Geier recently demonstrated a positive dose-response
relationship between thimerosal dosage and cardiac arrest in children.
In the newsletter Civil Defense Perspectives
[http://www.oism.org/cdp/july2004.html], Jane Orient, M.D., president of
Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP), reports on the epidemic of "pink
disease" (also known as acrodynia or erythredema) that afflicted children
in the early 20th century. Children presented with a pink discoloration of
the fingers and toes, desquamation of the palms and soles, and a rash,
among other symptoms, including flushing; irritability; swollen, painful
fingers and toes; weakness; tachycardia; elevated blood pressure;
photophobia; and polyneuritis. One mother stated, "My child behaves like a
mad dog." Mortality was about 7 percent.
This "peculiar neurosis of the vegetative nervous system in young children"
occurred in babies between the ages of 6 months and 2.5 years in the
English-speaking world but between the ages of 2 and 5 on the continent.
Popular theories included viral infection, nutritional deficiency and
"over-nutrition" in more affluent families. Most physicians did not
consider poisoning, nor did they investigate "the customs of mothers or the
activities of the advertising and patent medicine industries."
By 1950, considerable evidence had implicated mercury, widely used in
remedies such as teething powders. The disease disappeared when mercury was
voluntary withdrawn by the manufacturers from most teething powders after
Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., founder and director of the Autism Research
Institute and author of many articles and the prize-winning book "Infantile
Autism," said at the DDP meeting that "the autism epidemic is the greatest
catastrophe" the USA has ever suffered. He also noted the strong
association of vaccines with autism.
We find that the preponderance of evidence implicates mercury as a guilty
party in a wide spectrum of childhood conditions, including autism,
idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrest in children, pink disease
and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
We're not saying that mercury causes all cases of all these conditions; we
do say that the form of mercury and the dose are all-important and that the
same medical condition can be caused by different agents or different
combinations of factors.
For example, the dose of mercury from the environment probably does not
contribute a significant dose to humans. For one thing, the metal element
mercury has to be converted to more toxic chemical forms before it causes
In parting, we offer a simple solution to the problem. In the past,
vaccines contained thimerosal because it helped prevent bacterial
contamination in bottles containing dozens or hundreds of doses. We suggest
packaging vaccines in individual doses, thereby obviating the need for any
preservative. A bit more expensive, perhaps but your children and
grandchildren are worth it!
See JWR Archives below for other Glueck & Cihak mercury related columns.
Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments
on medical-legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is a Discovery Institute
Senior Fellow and a past president of the Association of American Physicians
and Surgeons. Both JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists.
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