Confounding Factors Escape Authors of Recent Study Examining California Numbers of...

Mon Jan 7, 2008 1:55pm EST

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

NAA again asks the CDC and NIH to study the toxic body burden of children  

NIXA, Mo., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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."

Wendy Fournier (Portsmouth, RI), 401-835-5828
Rita Shreffler (Nixa, MO), 401-632-6452


SOURCE  National Autism Association

Wendy Fournier (Portsmouth, RI), +1-401-835-5828, or Rita Shreffler (Nixa,
MO), +1-401-632-6452, both of National Autism Association
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