At the AutismOne conference back in 2005, I was in room #2 talking about the link of multiple toxins and autism. In room #1 was Dr. Rasheed Buttar who was all about mercury. I told my audience that one day, the multiple toxin theory was going to be in room #1 eventually, maybe not with me in it, but eventually the day would come. One more study, published by the journal Environmental Health Persepectives, has led credence to my theory.
In the October 2007 issue, researchers led by Eric Roberts et al, published a paper called Maternal Residence Near Agricultural Pesticide Applications and Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children in the California Central Valley (click on the link and you get to read the entire paper free of charge). In this paper the authors find that there was an increase in the incidence of autism the closer the pregnant mothers were to certain organophosphate pesticide applications. For years I have said that toxic exposures to the mother can cause fetal developmental disorders depending on the time of the exposure. This is just more data to back up my claims.
My theory has always been than somehow my daughter Tasya was exposed, while in fetal development, to some form of toxin to cause the brain dysfunction that caused her unusual epileptic disorder. I feel that many people with children have had the same issue whether it be autism, epilepsy or even other neurological or health related disorders. Fetuses are very suceptible to the dangers of toxins, more so than anyone else.
One other issue I want to bring up is the preposterous article that gave a clean bill of health to thimerasol by authors publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine. You would be hard pressed find a more poorly done study, misreported by the media, than this. Instead of listing my thoughts on all of the poor study parameters, follow this link to the Adventures in Autism blogsite, run by Ginger Taylor. The one really striking part of her eight part rebutal to this paper is that no autistic children were included in the study. Now that is a convenient way of avoiding finding a link between autism and thimerasol.
Two other very disturbing issues come up as well. First, that around 70% of the participants in the study dropped out. When I worked in the pharmaceutical clinical trial business, it was pretty well known that when you have a drop out rate any where near that level, the study is pretty much worthless. The data cannot be used to make any kind of a judgement. Second real major issue is the huge conflicts of interest among the authors of the study as each one has significant ties to the vaccine manufacturers! Poor judgement on the part of the NEJM to publish this paper, worse than that, for the media to so misrepresent the data.
As you can see from the first part of my post, I do not believe that mercury is the sole cause of autism. It isn’t. Having said that, I believe it is one of the factors in the epidemic of autism.