Vaccinations and Autism

Salon Magazine has an scary article on the connection between vaccines containing the preservative thimerosal (a form of mercury) and autism. People were vaccinated with thimerosal preserved medicines since the 1930s, but in 1989 the number of vaccinations given to children went from 3 to 22, increasing children’s exposure to the preservative. What’s even more scary is the list of other problems that people exposed to thimerosal might have.

What is Mercury?
Mercury is the second most toxic element on earth to plutonium. It is a metal, a naturally occurring chemical element that is found everywhere in the environment. Toxicity of mercury has been linked to many different diseases, including autism, learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, depression, and bipolar disorder. The amount of mercury found in one mercury thermometer is enough to pollute a small lake. Mercury can be toxic when inhaled, eaten, or when placed on the skin. Low concentrations of mercury may appear to have no effect but signs of toxicity can develop later or become more noticeable with continued exposure. When toxicity in humans takes place loss of feeling or a burning sensation in arms and legs, psychological effects, loss of memory, loss of vision, loss of hearing, paralysis, congenital malformations, kidney toxicity, and death may occur. Prenatal toxicity can result in a child with normal appearance at birth but who later exhibits a developmental delay in the ability to walk and/or talk. Because of the long latent period for observable effects, the need for treatment may be recognized too late.

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2 comments on “Vaccinations and Autism
  1. indygwyn says:

    Steph, don’t jump on the anti-vacc bandwagon too quick. Orac has a great rebuttal of the Solon article here. http://oracknows.blogspot.com/2005/06/saloncom-flushes-its-credibility-down.html

  2. I wouldn’t jump on the anti-vaccine bandwagon at all — vaccinations are necessary for public health, and I wouldn’t NOT vaccinate my hypothetical children; just insist that they be vaccinated with thimerosal-free products.
    I’d hardly say that this blog article is a debunking, though. A scoffing at, is a more accurate description. And he commits a couple of crimes against logic, very specifically in the section about conflicts of interest.
    Interesting to hear a different point of view though. Not having children, I don’t have a vested interest in the topic, but I’ve had the discussion with friends recently, and posted the link because of it.

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