The copywrited material on this site is distributed without profit for those who have an interest for research or educational purposes.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond fair use you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Anti-Mercury Apparel
Show your support for
removal of thimerosal
from vaccines
Autism is Reversible
We are non-profit, focused
on truth We are parent-led
and parent-funded
Heart Puzzle Apparel
Proceeds go to support
charitable autism media
Unlocking Autism
Autism awareness
apparel show your

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Get Mercury Out of Vaccines

Here's why, in the face of government studies to the contrary, parents continue to question whether mercury in vaccines caused or contributed to autism: "These studies can never prove to the point of absolute certainty an absence of an association."

Dr. Harvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, acknowledged that point Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. Dr. Fineberg's institute last year published a 215-page review on immunization safety: vaccines and autism. The report (available at www.iom.edu) concluded, as Dr. Fineberg reiterated Sunday, that "the best evidence all points to the lack of an association." It also underscores why Congress needs to pass the proposed Mercury-Free Vaccines Act, which would stop mercury- containing vaccines from being administered to any child under 3 or any pregnant woman, effective July 1, 2006. By July 1, 2007, the restriction would extend to all children under 6.

The immunizations children are required to have for their safety and for the public's safety - including measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis, diphtheria - no longer are made with thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative that's become a household term in many families with preschoolers or school-age children. "Thimerosal- containing vaccines should be removed as soon as possible," the Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a joint statement in July 1999. "Yet years after the July 1999 statement," the vaccine legislation points out, "thimerosal remains in several non-routinely administered childhood vaccines and many pediatric and adult influenza vaccines."

The legislation (HR 881 in the House, and S 1422 in the Senate) also notes that as many as one in six infants, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, is estimated to be born with a blood mercury level that exceeds what the agency deems is safe. Mercury can damage the brains of unborn children and infants. So, it only makes sense that steps would be taken to reduce exposure to mercury.

The legislation is a sensible precaution, much like the 1999 urging by physicians - a preferable response to the dismissal of a parent as panicked, neurotic, irrational, emotional. I wrote last Friday about the government's poor handling of this issue, and many parents responded with e-mails about their autistic child - or grandchild, or co-worker's child, or friend's child, or neighbor's child. Merely tragic anecdotes, some scientists and doctors say. The parents, they claim, simply are looking for someone or something to blame for their child's unfortunate condition.

After lamenting that she reached me instead of my voice mail, one anonymous pediatrician who called last Friday morning said my column was a "huge disservice to parents and pediatricians," that "the calls have already started" from worried parents and upset physicians. The anonymous pediatrician wanted parents to know, as has been widely published, that Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who in 1998 first hypothesized a link between the Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine and autism, has been soundly discredited. He owned a patent on a single-dose measles vaccine and was paid by lawyers for vaccine- makers to sound an alarm on multiple-dose vaccines.

"It has been unequivocally proven," the anonymous pediatrician continued, that there is no link between mercury in vaccines and autism. "It's been proven 100 percent."

Actually, in this controversy, the only unequivocally proven matter is mercury's danger. Acknowledging that fact is not the same as discouraging parents from getting their children inoculated. In fact, immunizations against polio, chicken pox and, especially, measles have saved countless lives. Those of us young enough to have been spared epidemics need only look at children in developing countries who are unable to enjoy the benefits of such immunizations. Parents should understand that refusing crucial immunizations puts not only your child at risk but other children, as well.

The Mercury-Free Vaccines Act, however, reflects the knowledge that the widespread benefit of immunizations is not a license to invite avoidable, albeit theoretical, risks. Reps. Clay Shaw, R- Fort Lauderdale, and Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, are among the House bill's 63 cosponsors. Encourage your representative to join them.

Elisa Cramer is an editorial writer for The Palm Beach Post. Her e-mail address is elisa_cramer@pbpost.com

Posted by Becca

« Home | The Age of Autism: New in name only? » //-->

Evidence of Harm
Thimerosal to blame?
Read the book
decide for yourself
Solve the Puzzle
Autism awareness apparel
Proceeds support autism
media projects
NAA Online Store
National Autism Association
Show your support
become a member today
Victory Store
Autism awareness products
5% of sales donated to
Autism Research Institute