The researchers conclude, "The data from this study, along with emerging epidemiologic data showing a link between increasing mercury doses from childhood vaccines and childhood neurodevelopment disorders, increases the likelihood that mercury is one of the main factors leading to the large increase in the rate of autism and other neurodevelopment disorders. It is to be hoped that removing thimerosal from all childhood vaccines will contribute to a decline in the numbers of new cases of autistic spectrum disorders. Unfortunately, as discussed in a recent publication, many of the vaccines recommended for the childhood immunization schedule contained the full doses of thimerosal through 2002 (FDA, personal communication), and in addition, pediatric vaccines such as influenza, diphtheria-tetanus (DT), and possibly others, still contain the full amounts of thimerosal in 2003. Therefore, it may be quite some time before a decrease in the prevalence of neurodevelopment disorders is seen."
"Large autism epidemics have recently been reported in the United States and the United Kingdom. Emerging epidemiologic evidence and biologic plausibility suggest an association between autistic spectrum disorders and mercury exposure. This study compares mercury excretion after a three-day treatment with an oral chelating agent, meso-2,3- dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), in children with autistic spectrum disorders and a matched control population. Overall, urinary mercury concentrations were significantly higher in 221 children with autistic spectrum disorders than in 18 normal controls (Relative Increase (RI)=3.15; P < 0.0002). Additionally, vaccinated cases showed a significantly higher urinary mercury concentration than did vaccinated controls (RI=5.94; P < 0.005). Similar urinary mercury concentrations were observed among matched vaccinated and unvaccinated controls, and no association was found between urinary cadmium or lead concentrations and autistic spectrum disorders. The observed urinary concentrations of mercury could plausibly have resulted from thimerosal in childhood vaccines, although other environmental sources and thimerosal in Rh (D) immune globulin administered to mothers may be contributory. Regardless of the mechanism by which children with autistic spectrum disorders have high urinary mercury concentrations, the DMSA treatment described in this study might be useful to diagnose their present burden of mercury."
Bradstreet J, Geier DA, Kartzinel JJ, Adams JB, Geier MR. A case-control study of mercury burden in children with autistic spectrum disorders. J Am Phys Surg. 2003; 8(3): 76-79.