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Autism and Mercury - Is There a Link?
If you have read any of the studies about autism and mercury, you will have found compelling arguments on
both sides of the issue about the relationship between the presence of mercury in the body and the development of
autism. Researchers are continuing to examine the potential link between the two.
According to some studies, some researchers believe there is a definite link between the amount of mercury in
the environment and the increased cases of autism over the years. Are the two directly related?
Let’s start with mercury. In case you didn’t know, mercury is one of the most toxic elements known to man. There
are many diseases that mercury has been found to have a link to: Alzheimer’s, lupus, bipolar disorder, attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder, arthritis, depression, and a host of learning disabilities. In the past,
thimerosal, which contains mercury, was commonly added to a variety of consumer products including eye-drops,
contact lenses, antiseptic products, and many others. Furthermore, mercury is found in dental amalgam, seafood, and
throughout our increasingly polluted environment. According to recent discussions many people are convinced that
thimerosal, which is a common additive in various common vaccines and medicines, is one of the leading culprits in
the increase in diagnosed cases of autism.
Thimerosal is fifty percent mercury. At some point there must have been a realization that there was a danger in
using thimerosal in medications as the substance is now banned from use in over-the-counter products. In addition,
the FDA suggested that vaccine manufacturers stop using thimerosal in their products, although they have not banned
it from vaccines.
However, the majority of vaccine manufacturers have responded to public outcry by removing the majority of
thimerosal from their vaccines. Since vaccines are mass produced and are made to have a long lifespan there is no
way to tell how many vaccines containing thimerosal are still in circulation. Since infants are the most common
section of the population to receive vaccines it is possible that they may receive a dose of mercury that is above
the level the Environmental Protection Agency has deemed a safe amount of mercury to be introduced into the
Arguments against the mercury-autism link are interesting. Many say that if mercury is the cause of autism then
nearly everyone should have autism. This is not the case. Mercury, just like any other foreign substance in the
body is processed differently depending on the individual. Some people are able to quickly expel the mercury from
their body while in others the mercury stays in the body for longer, allowing it the opportunity to bind to the
central nervous system, more specifically, the brain.
Many medical professionals and researchers claim, through extensive research, that there is no link between
mercury and the increase in cases of autism. Reports issued by some of the top health institutions in the world
claim that people looking to blame thimerosal and mercury for autism are barking up the wrong tree. In fact, these
reports are published and available to the public to be scrutinized. If you search for information debunking the
association between mercury and a higher level of autism cases, you will find boatloads of information. There are
studies, many from highly reputable organizations that definitively state that there is no connection between the
Last year some of the most well respected public health organizations in the United States stated that there was
no link. One of the main arguments for their point of view is that the way of diagnosing autism – especially mild
cases – has given rise to a higher statistical component. If there is an environmental cause, as may be the case,
they argue that it is due to some other, yet undiscovered, factor. And more recently, researchers at McGill
University Health Centre in Canada found that more children developed autism after the take-up of the MMR vaccine
decreased and thimerosal was eliminated. This was based on a study of 28,000 children.
For anyone who want so read more about the possible link between mercury and the occurrence of autism please
visit the following sites for more on both sides of the argument:
Chelation of Mercury for the Treatment of Autism - http://healing-arts.org/children/holmes.htm
Revisiting the Thimerosal-Autism Connection - by Dr. Michel Cohen
Rachel Evans. You can sign up for a Free Autism Newsletter at Essential Guide To Autism or for more autism articles click here Autism Articles.