Confounding Factors Escape Authors of Recent Study Examining California Numbers of Autistic Children

Confounding Factors Escape Authors of Recent Study Examining California Numbers of Autistic Children - National Autism Association

NIXA, Mo., Jan. 7 — The National Autism Association (NAA) is pointing out flaws in a study out today claiming that the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal has never had a role in causing autism. Stating that findings from the California Department of Health have overlooked a number of confounding factors, NAA believes the authors used data too narrowly to make such sweeping conclusions.

"This study presents a greatly over-simplified explanation of a very complex problem," according to NAA board chair Claire Bothwell. "Rising numbers do not confirm that thimerosal never had a role. We now know that many autistic children suffer from heavy metal toxicity, but body burden testing for mercury and other toxins has never occurred, despite numerous requests to the CDC and NIH from parents."

Charging that number-crunching can't clear injected mercury from having neurologically injured susceptible infants and young children, NAA is posing the following questions to the authors of the study and government health agencies:

-- Why do so many children regress into autism after receiving vaccines, subsequently have symptoms of heavy metal toxicity, then get better when mercury is removed through chelation?

-- How can mercury and other toxic metals be removed from the bodies of our children more safely and efficiently?

-- What biological abnormalities exist that cause some individuals to be unable to detoxify heavy metals?

NAA also cited confounding factors associated with the study, which included the failure to address synergistic effects of mercury, aluminum and other toxic ingredients. "Thimerosal isn't completely gone from vaccines. It is still present in trace amounts. Since no safe level of neurotoxins such as mercury and aluminum have been established, trace amounts cannot be cleared of having caused injury, especially in susceptible children," according to NAA board member Scott Bono.

Another confounding factor is the difficulty in determining the amount of exposure the children in the data set got from vaccines. Some routine childhood vaccines containing the full 25 micrograms of mercury were reported to have expiration dates up to 2005. Additionally, increasing pressure upon pregnant women and young children to receive annual flu shots has further muddied the waters in determining vaccine mercury exposure levels in recent years. Most flu shots still contain 25 micrograms of mercury, an amount the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe only for adults weighing over 550 lbs.

"To make such sweeping conclusions regarding thimerosal, all mercury and aluminum would have to have been removed from vaccines and recalled immediately, including pre- and post-natal flu shots," according to Ms. Bothwell. "Continued increases in autism rates are all the more reason to stop putting money into genetic research which alone can never explain what has happened to a generation of America's children."