Den of Iniquity

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Posted on November 5, 2017 at 11:00 AM

[From an IOM report in 2001:]

Little is known about ethylmercury (the active component in thimerosal) compared to methylmercury. There are no data that elucidate how much, if any, mercury exposure from all sources contributes to the prevalence of autism, ADHD, or speech or language delay.

As noted in previous IOM reports, a positive ecological correlation constitutes only weak evidence of causality, and additional research would be needed to establish a causal association.

The available case reports are uninformative with respect to causality. There are no published epidemiological studies examining the potential association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. The unpublished and limited epidemiological studies provide weak and inconclusive evidence . . .

The committee has found inadequate evidence to accept or reject a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. Although the available evidence is indirect and incomplete, and the relationship is not established, it is biologically plausible. Because thimerosal was used in millions of vaccine doses over several decades, it is important that additional research be done to understand the nature of the risk, if any, from this exposure to thimerosal.


[The following are my comments, not from the book.]

• Around the time this report was published, vaccine manufacturers purportedly removed thimerosal from their products.

• Ethylmercury is very different from methylmercury. The distinction is often not mentioned in discussions and reports, but it is important to understand that ethylmercury (thimerosal) does not pose the same health risks as methylmercury, the type typically involved in stories of mercury poisoning or contamination.

• Reports from public health officials sometimes, in defense of vaccines, say something like "there is no evidence that thimerosal causes autism", which is true, but misleading. Most people would interpret that to mean that there is no scientific link between thimerosal and autism. However, an accurate interpretation would be that the evidence isn't there simply because the studies haven't been done.

Carol Stott (PhD, MSc [Epidemiology], CSci, CPsychol), and Andrew Wakefield (MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath)

Categories: Vax Facts