By Dan Olmsted
Last week I offered a rough estimate of what I believe is responsible for the autism epidemic -- vaccines mostly; other environmental (outside) factors also playing a role in causation, and mercury as an element in both vaccines and the environment, providing a powerful clue to the nature of the disorder: Man-made rather than genetic.
Today I wanted to say a little more about mercury. Metals can be incredibly damaging to human health, whether lead in gasoline or arsenic in Victorian wallpaper and medical potions -- or, as Mark Blaxill and I showed in our book, mercury in everything from syphilis medicine to teething powders to, yes, vaccinations.
We don't need any more studies to demonstrate the neurotoxic properties of these substances. Whole schools are evacuated when mercury -- the relatively less harmful elemental kind, not the organic nightmare that remains in flu shots -- spills out of a test tube. An epic battle was fought to get lead out of gasoline, leading to an increase in the IQ of children -- and a decrease in inner-city delinquency by kids especially exposed to lead paint and gas.
Of all the insanely catastrophic vaccination policies being pursued by our so-called public health authorities -- Hep B on the day of birth; live-virus M, M, and R in the same shot at 12 months, with the chickenpox shot tossed in for good measure -- the worst of all has to be the continued use of thimerosal in flu shots, many of which go to pregnant women and infants.
Had there never been a debate over mercury and autism, this would still be inexcusable, given what we know about the toxicity of organic mercury, namely ethyl mercury, the kind in vaccines. Keeping mercury in any shots became criminal after the FDA recognized the amount in the shots routinely given in 1999. Phasing them out, rather than pulling them off the shelves, was unconscionable. But using fishy language and logic to keep mercury in flu shots -- and extending those shots to all pregnant women and infants -- implies a degree of reckless disregard that would bring a long prison term if it involved anything but -- well, anything but the health of pregnant women and infants.
Recently one of our readers, an expert chemist and outspoken critic of mercury in vaccines, posted a comment that I want to call attention to. The first part will be familiar to most of you, but the last part astonishes me every time I read it.
"A study has been done involving thimerosal-preserved vaccines given to infant monkeys to determine the resultant mercury levels. The whole body exposure of the infant monkeys at 80 micrograms of mercury per kilogram body weight from thimerosal-preserved vaccine resulted in an average of 16 parts per billion inorganic mercury levels in the brain tissue. The half life was over 120 days. See Burbacher et al (2005), figure 7, page 1019.
"Now look at a six-month old human (baby girl) in regard to the exposure from a thimerosal-preserved flu vaccine [in two doses four weeks apart]. First the average weight for a 6 month old baby girl is 16 pounds (7.26 kilograms). See CDC Growth Charts, (2000) page 20.
"Next 25 micrograms of mercury from ... thimerosal-preserved flu vaccine given to a six month old baby girl weighing 7.26 kilograms gives a whole body exposure of 3.44 micrograms per kilogram. So then by extrapolation, as a result of that mercury-preserved flu shot the brain tissue in the child could have 0.69 parts per billion inorganic mercury levels in the brain tissue with a half life of over 120 days.
"That is 2 trillion mercury atoms per gram of the developing brain in that child. No scientist can say that this is a safe level. The insanity of giving children and pregnant women thimerosal preserved flu shots must stop!"
Yet it continues, and as we know, proliferates every day at pharmacies, big box stores and groceries, where check-out people wear T-shirts telling shoppers to get their flu shots. We've heard that not all flu shots contain mercury, and that the percentage is diminishing. But that is no good.
Mercury needs to go. One reason it won't is that if U.S. health authorities ban it -- as they did exactly the same kind of mercury in pesticides in the 1970s -- other nations, and the World Health Organization, will feel obliged to follow. (Co-Med and SafeMinds and others have been pushing the UN to do the same with its mercury treaty, only to run up against the same kind of sophistry.)
The WHO representative at the Simpsonwood Conference in 2000 famously said -- in the face of evidence, already watered-down but still damning, that mercury was triggering an upsurge in autism -- that he needed thimerosal to vaccinate 100 million kids a year. One hundred million by however many trillions -- it boggles the mind.
And that's the moral multiplier: by tolerating mercury in flu shots (and for that matter, any other vaccine) in the U.S., were exporting a nightmarish scenario worldwide. People who talk about thimerosal as a "gentle bacteriostat" or mock the Mercury Moms who first pointed to it are headed to the dustbin of history. I can't wait.
And I can't think of any more clear-cut evidence of the moral black hole our public health authorities have fallen into. Carl Sagan used to look into deep space and see billions and billions of stars. I look at the future of our world and see trillions and trillions of mercury atoms.
Let's not worry about exactly what percentage of autism (etc.) mercury causes -- it's a lot, that's for sure. Let's make it the Number One priority of the vaccine safety and autism movements.
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.