As the mother of two young adults with autism and a physician who treats individuals with autism and related disorders, I am alarmed that pregnant women and children continue to be unnecessarily exposed to mercury in the form of the preservative Thimerosal. This exposure is most significant and, in my opinion, most dangerous, when given to pregnant women and young infants.
I have recently begun to see children in my practice whose mothers received both seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccines during pregnancy. This would typically have exposed both them and their unborn children to 50 mcg of mercury, which far exceeds the threshold that the EPA considers to be safe when consumed in food or water. Obviously, mercury ingested in food and beverages is not 100% absorbed, while injected mercury is. The safety threshold for injected mercury is unknown, but would undoubtedly be far lower than the amount considered to be safely consumed in food. The children with this in utero exposure that I have evaluated to date have suffered from significant, early onset signs of autism. While I cannot prove a direct correlation between their exposure to mercury and their current symptoms, mercury is a known neurotoxin. It is imperative that physicians and expectant mothers learn that this mercury exposure is avoidable.
SafeMinds and I have developed a campaign to educate obstetricians and their patients about common sources of mercury exposure. It focuses on the Thimerosal content of flu shots, but also includes information on dental amalgams, fish, and fluorescent light bulbs. Many doctors are not aware that the flu vaccines they recommend contain mercury and that mercury-free vaccines are readily available. Literature regarding their limited efficacy and safety data will also be provided.
We need your help to insure that this information gets to as many physicians as possible. We are asking you to send us the name and address of your obstetrician.
SafeMinds will then send a comprehensive educational package to your doctor with a brief note that their patient (you) requested that they consider this information. By making this campaign personal, we hope that physicians will take the time to read the materials, pass the information along to their patients, and order only mercury-free vaccines if they chose to continue to recommend influenza vaccination. A small investment of your time may protect hundreds of women and children from unnecessary mercury exposure and the health problems it can cause. Thank you for joining us in this important project.
Cindy Schneider, M.D.
Medical Advisor, SafeMinds
Help Spread the Word Send Us the Name, City and State of your OB/GYN and we will send a package to them from you.
Click here to send information.