SafeMinds proudly announces the launch of its new documentary: From Acrodynia to Autism:
Mercury Across Generations, More Evidence of Harm. This heartbreaking story about the forgotten childhood illness, acrodynia, has lessons for us today as we face an eerily similar disorder, that of autism. As the acrodynia epidemic disappeared from the earth through scientific truth, so can the autism epidemic end in our own lifetimes.
Acrodynia, more commonly called Pink Disease, ravaged children in Europe, North America and Australia in the first half of the 20th Century. Besides developing bright pink hands and feet, common symptoms included social withdrawal, lack of eye contact; loss of language; repetitive and self-injurious behaviors; body-rocking; toe-walking; sensitivity to light, noise and touch; low muscle tone; immune disorders and respiratory problems.
After decades of scientific dead-ends, the primary cause of this mysterious illness was found to be exposure to widely promoted and purportedly "safe" medicines given to infants and young children when their teeth started growing in. The drugs contained inorganic mercury. Scientists later found that 1 in every 500 children exposed to the mercury powders developed the disease as the result of an unusually strong sensitivity to mercury, likely due to their genetics. Once mercury was removed from the drugs, no new cases appeared, although those exposed still live a lifetime of suffering.
Dr. David Austin, a psychologist and autism researcher living outside Melbourne instrumental in the making of From Acrodynia to Autism, provides a riveting account of his research. After coming across a book describing acrodynia symptoms, Dr. Austin was astonished. "It read exactly like you would write a case study about an autistic child," he marvels. "The withdrawal from social contact, the loss of eye contact, the loss of language, the irritability, the banging the head against the wall or beating your head with your fist, the light sensitivity, the sleep disruption. I was speechless after reading this book."
Dr. Austin went on to review data on thousands of children and grandchildren of acrodynia survivors and documented an autism rate of one in 25 in the grandchildren, representing a seven-to eight-fold elevation above the prevalence of autism at the time in Australia. The study, published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, supports the hypothesis that autism can result from the interaction between mercury and a genetic predisposition to heavy-metal sensitivity.
As the film points out, children today are exposed to mercury in many ways: food, air, water, dental amalgams and regularly prescribed medications including vaccines. Such cumulative exposures to mercury, both pre- and post-natal, would clearly be more dangerous to those children with a genetic vulnerability.
Watch the entire story From Acrodynia to Autism through the link at www.safeminds.org.
SafeMinds seeks to stop the tragic legacy of mercury through advocacy and research. We are identifying individuals at increased vulnerability to the toxic effects of mercury. Our efforts continue to help decrease exposure to mercury from all sources globally. SafeMinds relies on public support to help end the autism epidemic by eliminating all mercury exposures - just as eliminating mercury in teething powders ended the epidemic of acrodynia.
SafeMinds seeks to restore good health and protect future generations by eradicating the devastation of autism and associated health disorders induced by mercury and other toxicants resulting from human activities.