Mercury Global Warming Conversation Environmental Justice
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Mercury is the main component of thimerosal, an antibacterial preservative that until recently was used in virtually all children's vaccines. A growing number of scientists, doctors and parents point to this known neurotoxin for the epidemic of autism sweeping the country. In the years between 1970 and 2001 the autism rates in America rose from one in 10,000 children to 1 in 166 (the CDC states that one in 80 boys are affected). A review of US Department of Education data makes the spike obvious: In the decade between 1992 and 2002, the rate of autism was up an average of 1,000 percent in all 50 states.

In 1999 government officials conceded that properly immunized children received more than 100 times the EPA's safe limit for mercury by 18 months of age. In private emails, government researchers acknowledged they'd been "asleep at the switch," and never added up the total mercury exposure as they required numerous additional vaccines.

In the scramble to correct the oversight, the Academy of American Pediatricians and the US Health Service called for thimerosal-free vaccines, though never acknowledged the potential damage done already to children from excessive mercury exposure.

Recent studies from researchers at Tufts, Johns Hopkins, University of Kentucky, the US Department of Agriculture, and other places showing through double-blind clinical trials that autistic children have very little ability to eliminate mercury. Others at Northeastern and Baylor University have demonstrated how thimerosal damages DNA. These support the theory that a subset of children are unable to get rid of mercury once exposed, and that the toxin builds in their brains causing neurological damage and potentially autism.

-- Sarah Bridges, Ph.D., L.P.