A paper1 was published this week on autism rates and thimerosal exposure. The authors, Robert Schechter and Judith Grether, used the California Department of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) data on autism enrollments over time and compared them to recent thimerosal exposure rates. Stating that thimerosal has been removed from vaccines while DDS enrollments continue to rise, they conclude that “the DDS data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal during childhood is a primary cause of autism.” [pdf January 10, 2008] SafeMinds Critique of Schechter & Grether Paper on California’s Autism DDS Data and Thimerosal Exposure
Dr. Robert Schechter. Jan 2008. Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California's Developmental Services System. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008;65(1):19-24. http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/65/1/19
Dr.Boyd Haley RESPONSE TO 2008 R. SCHECHTER AND J.
GRETHER PUBLCIATION Autism was not a known, described illness until about
1941-3, 8 to 10 years after the introduction of thimerosal and similar organic
thiol-mercury compounds in biological mixtures used in medicine and other
areas. This argues against autism being a genetic illness.
In 1977, 10 of 13 infants treated in a single hospital by topical application of thimerosal for umbilical cord infections died of mercury toxicity. This same topical was used on adolescents without obvious ill effects which strongly supports the concept that infants are very susceptible to thimerosal toxicity.
The recent increase (starting about 1990) of autism spectrum disorders correlated well with the advent of the CDC mandated vaccine program which increased thimerosal exposures with increased vaccinations. Due to its toxicity, thimerosal would have to be suspect for causing autism.
As expected by science, extensive searching for a genetic cause of autism has not turned up a significant find that would explain the recent increased rate in autism. The latest genetic find, at best, might explain 0.5% of autism causation. Most agree that a genetic predisposition is likely (like those that lead to low glutathione levels), but that a toxic exposure is absolutely needed. Consider also, that this increased toxic exposure would have had to occur in all 50 states at about the same time as all states have reported similar increases in autism rates. Only something like the government recommended vaccine program fits this need for a time dependent, uniform exposure of a toxin throughout all the states.
In the Schechter-Grether study it is implied or assumed that all thimerosal containing vaccines were gone by the end of 2002 due to their expiration dates. I don't think this is a valid assumption. I have talked to mothers who asked to see the vaccine inserts as late as 2004 and found thimerosal present as a preservative in infant vaccines being used in certain clinics. Also, in 2004 the influenza vaccine was recommended by the CDC for infants 6 months of age and older. It would appear as if a thimerosal free vaccine time-frame would be very hard to identify, if one ever existed.
..........The study of non-vaccinated populations is a very obvious experiment that the CDC and its supporters appear to refuse to consider. This makes me suspicious that this knowledge exists and is being suppressed because knowledge of the rate among the non-vaccinated population would answer many questions.
Mercury-Autism Link Published in Journal with Financial Ties to Vaccine
While the mainstream press is widely reporting a new study "disproving" any link between autism and mercury-containing thimerosal in vaccines, no one has bothered to point out that the study was published in a medical journal stacked full...
[pdf January 10, 2008]
SafeMinds Critique of Schechter & Grether Paper on California’s
Autism DDS Data and Thimerosal Exposure
The SafeMinds analysis of this paper examines the DDS data set, the thimerosal exposure information in the paper, and Schechter and Grether’s interpretation of the findings as summarized in their concluding statement above. Subsequent to this analysis, SafeMinds has determined that the data can equally support thimerosal exposure as a primary causative role, if autism causation is multifactorial. Vaccine components and environmental mercury, as well as other toxicants, are additional likely candidates. Deficiencies of the DDS data as an epidemiology resource and imprecise thimerosal exposure assumptions make determination of the contribution of thimerosal to autism rates difficult. The increase in autism cases reported by Schechter and Grether since the 1980s highlights the urgency of the autism epidemic and the need to institute a rigorous and comprehensive environmental factors research program.