Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

Debunking Mercury Caused Autism

Skeptico pointed me at this overview of a recent study about mercury causing autism. Many of us have already known that ethyl mercury in thimerisol had nothing to do with autism. There has been no data or proposed mechanism to justify that hypothesis. But this myth keeps getting promoted and is often accepted as true by popular culture.

People wasting their money on chelation, hyperbaric chamber therapy, and other nonsense 'treatments' are just delaying true understanding of the causes and treatments for Autism. Further, they are endangering their child with 'treatments' that have not been shown to have any effect, and worse, have not been vetted for possible side effects (although, I'll admit, sticking your kid in a hyperbaric chamber is probably not that dangerous unless it is operated wrong, think "The Bends" from scuba diving).

Further, some people are not vaccinating their kids, for religious reasons, or simply out of fear or ignorance, or inability to discern good science from bad. Vaccination, along with sanitation and clean water, are the most successful national health efforts ever to be accomplished in the history of mankind. While there is a 1 in a million chance of significant side effects from vaccines, the immensely reduced occurrence of deadly childhood diseases is, by far, worth it.

I have a one year old daughter. I can fully understand how frustrating and saddening it must be to find out your child is autistic (or has any disorder that lower mental or physical capacity). I understand the intense desire to do anything that might help your child not have to suffer. I am also not sure I would be able to let my reasoning remain stronger than my emotion in my efforts to relieve my child of suffering. But while my rational half is strong, I appeal to you to help put this myth to bed so we can focus our time and money toward finding the real cause.

So, to my ten or so readers, please read the whole article. Its very well written. Then please tell people you know to read it. Help put this stupid myth to rest.


On 2/14/09, 11:42 AM , Anonymous said...

are you meaning "mercury causing austism from a thimerosol source" is hogwash? That's very different than what you've stated. There are many good reasons for scientists associating autism and mercury poisoning and looking for sources - including thimerosol. But if this "mistake" on your part is indicative of your science, I would not expect you to understand this line of research, nor be able to recognize the irresponsibility and arrogance of your

On 2/14/09, 3:49 PM , Techskeptic said...

LOL, really? Sfter all this time and study after study showing that there is no link. After removing thimerisol from vaccines in 1996 in quebec and finding no change in the rise of autism there. After removing thimerisol from vaccines in 2002 in America and finding no change in the rise of autism here.

After all this, you are still on the thimerisol band wagon? Even many of the anti-vaccination kooks have left that station.

Did you actually read any of the article I linked to (or any of the ones that were linked to at those sites?), or was that your knee jerking out from under you?

On 7/29/09, 11:42 AM , Anonymous said... has lots of articles on the MMR scare. His book, Bad Science, also discusses it - the doctor who was prominent in the UK has withdrawn some of his claims. It's also worth noting that he was in a practice that was looking for a link and of the 7 parents who alerted him to the problems, 2 weren't convinced.

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