6X More Autism in Grandchildren of Mercury-Poisoning Survivors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 12, 2011
Contact: Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota
Wayne Rohde 651-705-5030 / 405-973-7049

6X more autism in grandchildren of mercury-poisoning survivors

Research links medical Hg use & familial susceptibility to autism

ST. PAUL, MN – A study published July 28 in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that 1 in 25 grandchildren of mercury-poisoning survivors had an autism spectrum disorder, compared to 1 in 160 in the general population – a staggering six-fold increase in relative risk.

Australian researchers David Austin, PhD and Kerrie Shandley investigated whether autism, a neuroimmune disorder, can be linked to the mercury exposure of people genetically predisposed toward heightened sensitivity to the neurotoxic heavy metal. The researchers looked at a large sample of grandparents who as children were diagnosed with acrodynia, or Pink Disease. Its symptoms, such as apathy, irritability and progressive loss of speech, are quite similar to those of children with autism.

“We were simply blown away by the results,” Dr. Austin stated. “The large elevation in autism prevalence in this group of children was startling, especially given that rates of other childhood disorders were at expected levels. The thing that differentiates these children from the general population, to which they were compared, is a family history of mercury sensitivity.”
In the early 20th century acrodynia developed in about 1 in 500 children. However nearly fifty years passed before scientists connected the disease to exposure to mercury from health care products such as teething powder, worm medications and diaper rinses – a paradox with modern parallels.

The healthcare advocacy group SafeMinds continues to demand that the pharmaceutical industry remove mercury from all consumer products, including vaccines. According to a statement this week by SafeMinds, “43 peer-reviewed studies support a link between mercury and autism, and experts agree that autism is caused by the interaction of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposures.”

SafeMinds board member Lyn Redwood RN, MSN, said, “The FDA has identified over 130 medical products that contain mercury and 7 vaccines that contain mercury. The continued use of these products in to the 21st century when safer and more effective alternatives exist is unacceptable and dangerous.” Redwood’s son has been diagnosed with mercury toxicity and autism.

The Austin/Shandley study did not address differences in toxicity between temporary topical applications versus injection of mercury such as from Thimerosal, which is still in many vaccines.

For more information on the symptoms of Pink Disease and the overlap with autism:

Ancestry of Pink Disease (Infantile Acrodynia) Identified as a Risk Factor for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Kerrie Shandley & David W. Austin
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A
Volume 74, Issue 18, 2011