By Teresa Conrick
Yet another study has come out to add to the growing list of research showing that autism can be connected with exposure to mercury. This study took the idea of heritability and paired it with a known exposure to mercury, Pink Disease. Also known as Infantile Acrodynia, Pink Disease was a mysterious ailment that affected 1: 500 children. Its origin was teething powders and also worm medicines that contained mercury, given to babies and children, but it took YEARS for that truth to be accepted. Here is a description and opinion from, A REVIEW OF INFANTILE ACRODYNIA ('PINK DISEASE'), NOVEMBER 30, 1949, of the painful and sometimes deadly symptoms seen: NIH Acrodynia
CARDIOVASCULAR: Tachycardia, hypertension; occasionally epistaxis, melaena, gangrene.
EMOTIONAL.: Depression, apathy, fretfulness, perversion of appetite, loss of interest, insomnia.
NERVOUS SYSTEM.:Myasthenia, hypotonia, photophobia; sweating, incontinence; head-banging, rocking and salaaming; paraesthesia, possibly 'thalamic' pain; disturbed temperature regulation; occasionally tremor, convulsions.
SKIN AND MUSCOAE:. Erythema, swelling of hands and feet; ulceration of mouth, loosening of teeth; dystrophy of nails and hair.
METABOLIC:. Hyperglycaemia, glycosuria; loss of weight: increased basal metabolic rate; enlargement of liver.
ENDOCRINE: Cessation of growth; diuresis.
DIGESTIVE: Vomiting, diarrhoea; occasional prolapse of rectum; occasional intestinal spasm, rarely progressing to intussusception.
BLOOD. Neutrophil leucocytosis.
And like Autism, Pink Disease was a "mystery", with many different opinions on causation yet the clues seem so clear now:
"The concept of diet deficiency, for example, has been abandoned, attractive as it seemed at one time, partly because the disease, whether in symptoms or pathology, resembles no known deficiency disease in man, and partly because it is found very frequently in conditions which seem to preclude malnutrition. The limits of age within which authentic cases have been reported are from the third week (Wyllie and Stern, 1931) to the fourth year;.....above this age there are probably a few cases......very rare cases reported in adults...indeed it is unlikely that a disease which appears not to have its origins in prenatal life or birth itself should be confined to the first four years....a lively baby becomes increasingly apathetic, loses interest in its surroundings, ceases to play, sleeps little, cries a lot. Older children cease to stand or walk or talk, and do not resume their progress in activity until the illness is past. No smile can be provoked, and the child resents being lifted or handled unless to be nursed very quietly."
And like Autism, when hard science pokes its way in, that reality may provoke feelings of denial:
A simple yet brilliant study to demonstrate a susceptibility in families. We here at Age of Autism, have been sounding the alarm on mercury and especially thimerosal, due to the fact that there is so much evidence to its connection to autism. As Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill have said -- "facts cluster around a good hypothesis," -- and this is one that has not gone away due to that reason. In their book, The Age Of Autism: Mercury, Medicine and a Manmade Epidemic, Dan and Mark tell the story of mercury's insidious effect on generations of unsuspecting victims, including Pink Disease and its connection to mercury, and similarities to autism. From an interview they did when their book was released last year: Olmsted Blaxill Mercury Medicine and a Man Made Epidemic
"The later timing and the different kinds of mercury exposure probably had something to do with the difference in the profile. That said, there were some known cases - some of the symptoms of acrodynia or pink disease were similar in some ways to autism symptoms so there were similar biological effects in the youngest of children. But I think the difference in the timing, the difference in the particular type of mercury was the difference. Calomel would be affecting the body of these children whereas ethylmercury will get into the brain and that's probably the difference between teething powders and ethylmercury......The doctor who realized that pink disease, this terrible illness that children got that came from teething powders, the doctor who realized that that came from mercury poisoning said that it seemed to vary greatly. Some kids would get the same amount and have no effect and others would die from it.
We saw cases where these organic mercury compounds were used as seed disinfectants and in the factory some workers got exposed and became permanently disabled. Other workers who had the same amount of mercury didn't have any effects and so that's an idea that has never really been medically established, but we think the evidence for it is very strong."
Here, now is that piece of evidence, strong and convincing that some families, including different generations, as well as the type and mode of mercury exposure, can have profound effects . I know this personally as both my father and grandfather were victims of medicinal mercury. The physical, mental and emotional illnesses that mercury is capable of detonating are devastating and often hidden. Take for example that many have used ointments and salves that contained forms of mercury, for skin disorders or as a medicine. Unknown to them, the "cure" they were using often became the "disease" as the mercury worsened or cascaded into other symptoms that often seemed unrelated:
ECZEMATOUS CONTACT DERMATITIS DUE TO MERCURIALS
"There was a high degree of apparently allergic hypersensitivity to an ordinary innocuous substance. One of the editors observed a case of psoriasis in which 3 per cent white ammoniated mercury applied once to hands and elbows led to severe, long-lasting and almost fatal erythroderma with cardiac, renal and other visceral complications. Fortunately, these cases are extremely rare. Ordinarily, the yellow oxide of mercury ointments and the low concentrations of white ammoniated mercury can be put even into babies' eyes without the slightest harmful effects. Millions use these preparations with impunity but suddenly some person shows the most devastating, explosive reaction."
The Use of Ammoniated Mercury Ointment
"A 50-year-old man was admitted to The New York Hospital on Feb. 21, 1956, complaining of swollen legs. For 7 months the patient had used ammoniated mercury ointment (2%) for psoriasis involving his scalp, elbows, hands, forearms, and knees. Six weeks prior to admission the patient noticed painless swelling of both ankles."
One big difference between Pink Disease and Autism -- medicinal mercury exposure is STILL happening in this generation, especially in vaccines manufactured or preserved with Thimerosal. Mercury in teething powders became a thing of the past....something to keep in mind:
1956 mercury exposure warning
SEPT. 15, 1956 CORRESPONDENCE
BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL
Calomel in Teething Powders
SIR,-Mercury has been omitted from most, if not all, proprietary teething powders with a view to preventing pink
disease, but all loopholes do not seem to have been stopped. I have recently seen two cases of pink disease and found
that they had had teething powders made up by local chemists. On inquiring, in confidence, of these chemists
I learned that the teething powders they were in the habit of supplying contained calomel, and in one case the chemist
volunteered that in future it would be omitted now that he knew of its danger. These two cases may be of interest to
practitioners who may meet pink disease from time to time through chemists not being aware of this danger.-I am, etc.,
A. W. ABRAMSON.
Teresa Conrick is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism