By Mary Webster
The Sydney Morning Herald reports today on new warnings out of Australia about the dangers mercury poses to small children. In today's edition, Peter Hawkins and Kate Benson investigate the role mercury played in the medical conditions of three local children. As a result of these case reports, health officials are now cautioning parents to restrict their young children's consumption of large fish. (Read the article HERE.)
The Morning Herald's report stems from a letter published in The Medical Journal of Australia by Stephen Corbett, a director at the Centre for Population Health and Dr. Christopher Poon, a pediatrician at the Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney. In their report, Professor Corbett and Dr. Poon detail the harmful effects consuming fish with high mercury concentrations has had on three young children. (You'll find Professor Corbett's and Dr. Poon's intriguing read HERE.)
The children, all boys under the age of three, had higher than normal levels of mercury when tested. The oldest of the three, who initially presented with "delayed speech and some autistic features," was later diagnosed with "classical autism." Not surprisingly, this child's blood mercury level was twice that of the other two boys.
Of particular interest to many Age of Autism readers, one of the children (and his father) underwent chelation therapy as treatment for their mercury toxicity. Both the mother, who was pregnant with her second child at the time, and the father also had elevated hair mercury levels. In fact, the father was diagnosed with mercury poisoning prior to his son's initial consultation. The father, it seems, consulted a general practitioner for treatment of symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, allergies and rashes. Unfortunately, no mention is made of the effects of that treatment on either father or son, yet the authors did note that the therapy was obtained "elsewhere."
We can add these latest accounts to the ever-increasing reports of children who, when exposed to high levels of mercury, developed neurological disorders – including autism. Isn't it a shame?