The legal claim by George and Victoria Meade, for their son William, was recently dismissed by federal Special Master Smith-Campbell. See HERE . The parents’ claim was that William received vaccines with thimerosal which in turn caused brain injury and resulted in autism.
The federal ruling concluded that the evidence presented for William’s case did not prove a cause of injury resulting in autism. But it did not establish that the case evidence proved safety. And this is what really speaks to the concern of all families concerned about mercury and brain injury.
As background information--first, thimerosal contains mercury. Although a few states ban thimerosal in vaccines, it is still used in the majority of flu vaccines as a preservative in this country. The amount of mercury in a flu shot (one half milliliter dose), with thimerosal preservative, is about 25 micrograms. Twenty five micrograms is the amount of mercury in a half cup (four US fluid ounces) of mercury hazardous waste. See HERE.
Second, scientific literature for high level mercury poisoning has provided tragic accounts of acute (short term) effects of organic mercury on the brain. For a graphic comparison of a brain without neurological disease to a brain with up to 3,100 parts per billion total mercury, see Figure Number Three. For high level mercury poisoning, scientific literature also offers evidence of delayed neurological effects .
Third, for low level mercury poisoning, a term not used in the ruling, such as the level of mercury in the brain that is one thousand times lower than the 3,100 parts per billion in the above referenced acute poisoning case, the scientific literature is incomplete for chronic (long term) effects on the brain.
Now regarding the ruling, the Special Master Smith-Campbell acknowledges an expert’s opinion of two to three parts per billion in an infant brain as the estimated level of inorganic mercury resulting from vaccines with thimerosal (see page 133). However there is no consensus in the scientific literature for these levels regarding delayed damage. Nonetheless the Special Master decided to use data from a report by Lapham et al to address this.
So in addressing the issue of possible delayed damage from low level mercury poisoning, the Special Master misuses the term “no observable toxic effects” to compare between (1) the two to three parts per billion inorganic mercury estimated to be in the brain after a child receives vaccines with thimerosal, and (2) neonatal autopsy total mercury in brain levels of 50 to less than 300 parts per billion (see pages 83 and 137 of the ruling).
The use of this data by the Special Master, based on a report using histological examination methods on brains from 32 neonatal autopsies for children exposed in the womb to methylmercury, for this comparison is illogical and technically incorrect.
To say the least, any “no observable toxic effects” based on data from children’s brain tissue in Lapham et al could neither have been observed nor measured at a future time for those children. And it is technically impossible to use this data to extrapolate a “no observable toxic effects” level of mercury in brain tissue on to William or any other children of his age. Lapham et al reported on children that died relatively soon after birth.
Finally and most important, the word “safe” is absent from the Special Master Smith-Campbell ruling. There is no evidence stated in the ruling which proves that intentionally injecting vaccines with thimerosal preservative into children and pregnant women is safe. And there are no FDA numeric criteria, including the chronic toxicity effects of inorganic mercury exposures to the human brain, to establish what thimerosal levels in vaccines, if any, are safe.
So while the William Meade case ruling incorrectly rejected evidence of harm for low levels of inorganic mercury in a child’s brain--it is more important to note that it did not establish that the evidence proved safety regarding thimerosal and brain injury.
Jim Thompson is a registered professional engineer. He and his wife Susan live and work in rural South Dakota. Their first granddaughter Taylor Haug was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, verbal apraxia, motor disorder, and sensory integration disorder. Her loving memory has influenced his family’s decision to help protect children from vaccine injuries.