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Autism and Mercury
- Is There A Link?

By Rachel Evans

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 body.

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 two.

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

Revisiting the Thimerosal-Autism Connection by Dr. Michel Cohen

You can also find a wealth of resources and information about diagnosing, controlling and treating Autism in my book, The Essential Guide to Autism

About the Author:
Rachel Evans. For information and to signup for a Free Newsletter about Autism please visit The Essential Guide to Autism

Now read Jean's articleThe Autistic Child - Could It Be Mercury?