6.24.2005

One More HUGE Thing To Freak Out About

I kind of thought we were on top of the whole vaccines issue. Our chosen pediatrician assured us that the danger of not getting vaccines, or spacing them, far outweighed the dangers of Frankie contracting neurological problems from chemicals in the vaccines. But the increased rate of autism amongst children in the last ten years is frightening. After all, *something* must be going on.

As Dave and I worry about flathead, SIDS and hell, diaper rash, an old concern has been reintroduced: mercury additives in vaccines via this recent Salon investigative report: “Deadly Immunity”. which calls into question of the validity of a major study that claimed to prove that there was, once and for all, no connection between thimerisol and autism. I’m not one to jump on a conspiracy theory, but the evidence is pretty compelling. Though it is not the only agent that plays a role in increased neurological problems, exposure to thimerisol certainly seems to be one of the largest contributing factors.

“More than 500,000 kids currently suffer from autism, and pediatricians diagnose more than 40,000 new cases every year. The disease was unknown until 1943, when it was identified and diagnosed among 11 children born in the months after thimerosal was first added to baby vaccines in 1931.”


“In 1977, a Russian study found that adults exposed to much lower concentrations of ethylmercury than those given to American children still suffered brain damage years later. Russia banned thimerosal from children's vaccines 20 years ago, and Denmark, Austria, Japan, Great Britain and all the Scandinavian countries have since followed suit.”

And yet…we used it here in the States until 1999. Now, we ship it off to use in developing countries where it may save more kids than it harms. There’s validity to that – the vaccines do “more good then harm” – but it’s a trade off that makes me more than a little uncomfortable.

“Before 1989, American preschoolers received 11 vaccinations -- for polio, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and measles-mumps-rubella. A decade later, thanks to federal recommendations, children were receiving a total of 22 immunizations by the time they reached first grade.”

There are thimerisol-free vaccines out there. But what about ethylmercury? What about methylmercury? How much have those been tested? What are the long range effects? We have no idea what they may be using in place of those elements that could cause even further damage.

“Under the expanded schedule of vaccinations, multiple shots were often administered on a single day: At two months, when the infant brain is still at a critical stage of development, children routinely received three inoculations that delivered 99 times the approved limit of mercury.”

And as a further indictment of our childbirth class, the teacher knew very little about this. When another couple asked a question about it, we knew more than she did. Scary!
The next step I suppose is to see what the doctor uses. And I’ll tell you what -- I couldn’t care less if they think I am crazy -- I want to see for myself the ingredients list before anything is injected.

3 Comments:

Blogger MommaS said...

Let them look at you funny. You ASK questions. This is a fundamental part of your new job description of "Parent". If you're uncomfortable with any aspect of your child's care, question it. Doggedly. Unmercifully. We have altogether too many things in this world to worry about than to have to take a closer look at the things (vaccinations) that are supposed to protect them. I love it when a doctor asks, "Are you allergic to any medications?" How the hell would I know? You ask for that list of ingredients. More power to you.

1:43 PM  
Blogger dirtyweekender said...

Please tell me the childbirth teacher at least looks sheepish when you ask her these important questions that she doesn't seem to be able to talk to. I hope she at least minds looking this foolish and starts, I dunno, maybe reading a little more?

11:05 AM  
Blogger Auntie Krissy said...

Please, everybody, take it from me, an "expert" on the incidence of Autism...space out the vaccines (I've heard the testimonials from parents, 'normal development, vacced, spiked a fever, lost all language')! If you have the genetic predisposition and you trip just the right triggers, bam, you're Autistic or Diabetic or have Heart Disease. ~K

11:26 AM  

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