[back] Mercury and vaccines

Washington state's Secretary of Health Mary Selecky: fraudulent, misquoted, or uninformed?

by Teresa Binstock
Sep 30, 2009

Once again, a highly placed public figure has presented a misleading or inaccurate statement wherein thimerosal is erroneously described as harmless.

In an article about thimerosal in swine flu shots, reporter Sandi Doughton's summarized Washington  Health Department's Secretary of Health Mary Selecky as having said, "The preservative, thimerosal, has never been linked to any health problems..." (1).

Is Mary Selecky playing word games that differentiate between health problems and, in contrast, thimerosal-induced developmental delays? Is she not aware of peer-reviewed findings which describe associations between thimerosal injections and developmental disabilities?

Conclusions in several studies prompt concern (a) for Sandi Daughton's reporting of what Mary Selecky said, or (b) for Mary Selecky said.

Consider several studies. Male infants who received thimerosal-containing hepatitis-B vaccinations were nine times as likely to be receiving special education services (2) and were three times as likely to have developed autism (3). These findings have been supported by results of a newly published study wherein infant primates injected with thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccines manifested developmental delays (4). A synopsis of the new study and delineation of other findings about thimerosal injections' adverse effects has been written by Mark Blaxill (5).

Questions: Was Mary Selecky misquoted? If not, and if she is aware of thimerosal's adverse effects and was accurately quoted as saying "no health effects", ought she be removed from her position within the Washington Health Department?  If she is not aware of the studies cited herein, then her thimerosal statement reported by Sandi Doughton was rooted in Ms. Selecky's ignorance and a correction ought be issued by Mary Selecky and the Health Department.

Given various "experts" false assurances (eg, 6) about thimerosal's safety (when findings suggest quite the opposite) relevant questions include, Who profits from increased numbers of vaccinations delivered? And, who profits from increased numbers of children with developmental disabilities?


1. State lifts limit on mercury preservative in swine-flu shots
By Sandi Doughton
Seattle Times science reporter

In preparation for swine-flu vaccinations next month, Washington's Health Department on Thursday temporarily suspended a rule that limits the amount of a mercury preservative in vaccines given to pregnant women and children under the age of 3.

The preservative, thimerosal, has never been linked to any health problems, said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. But a vocal minority believes the compound could be linked to autism. The state Legislature adopted the limit in 2006.

Thimerosal has been eliminated from most vaccines in the United States, but it will be added to the bulk of the swine-flu vaccine being produced to stem a pandemic that health officials estimate could sicken more than a third of the state's residents....

2. Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1-9 years
 Gallagher C, Goodman M. Toxicol Environ Chem 2008 90(5):997-1008.
{free online}

3. Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism
CM Gallagher, MS Goodman
Annals of Epidemiology
Vol. 19, No. 9 ABSTRACTS (ACE)
September 2009: p. 659
Stony Brook University Medical Center, NY

PURPOSE: Universal newborn immunization with hepatitis B vaccine was recommended in 1991; however, safety findings are mixed. The Vaccine Safety Datalink Workgroup reported no association between hepatitis B vaccination at birth and febrile episodes or neurological adverse events. Other studies found positive associations between hepatitis B vaccination and ear infection, pharyngitis, and chronic arthritis; as well as receipt of early intervention/special education services (EIS); in probability samples of
U.S. children. Children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) comprise a growing caseload for EIS. We evaluated the association between hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and parental report of ASD.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study used U.S. probability samples obtained from National Health Interview Survey 19972002 datasets. Logistic regression modeling was used to estimate the effect of neonatal hepatitis B vaccination on ASDrisk amongboys age 317 years with shot records, adjusted for race, maternal education, and two-parent household.
RESULTS:Boyswho received the hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life had 2.94 greater odds for ASD (nZ31 of 7,486; OR Z 2.94; p Z 0.03; 95% CI Z 1.10, 7.90) compared to later- or unvaccinated boys. Non-Hispanicwhite boys were 61% less likely to have ASD(ORZ0.39; pZ0.04; 95% CIZ0.16, 0.94) relative to non-white boys.
CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine had a 3-fold greater risk of ASD; risk was greatest for non-white boys.

4. Delayed Acquisition of Neonatal Reflexes in Newborn Primates Receiving a Thimerosal-Containing Hepatitis B Vaccine: Influence of Gestational Age and Birth Weight
Hewitson L et al.
NeuroToxicology, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 30 September 2009.

5. [Synopsis & review]
Blockbuster primate Study Shows Significant Harm from One Birth Dose of a Mercury-containing Vaccine
By Mark Blaxill; Sept 30, 2009

6. Did NIAID's Anthony Fauci commit fraud or did US News & World Report misquote Dr. Fauci?
Teresa Binstock, Aug 29, 2009