A 2009 epidemiological study strongly associates prenatal mercury exposure frommaternal dental amalgams with significantly increased rates of severe autism. Proclaiming human fetal safety based on minimal animal data, FDA inexplicably fails to explain how this important study eluded FDA’s attention.
Holmes, et al., found that mothers in the autistic group had significantly higherlevels of mercury exposure through Rho D immunoglobulin injections and amalgam fillings thancontrol mothers. Within the autistic group, hair mercury levels varied significantly across mildly,moderately, and severely autistic children, with mean group levels of 0.79, 0.46, and 0.21 ppm,respectively. Hair mercury levels among controls were significantly correlated with the numberof the mothers’ amalgam fillings and their fish consumption as well as exposure to mercurythrough childhood vaccines, correlations that were absent in the autistic group. Hair excretionpatterns among autistic infants were significantly reduced relative to control. These data castdoubt on the efficacy of traditional hair analysis as a measure of total mercury exposure in a subsetof the population. In light of the biological plausibility of mercury’s role in neurodevelopmentaldisorders, this study provides further insight into one possible mechanism by which early mercuryexposures could increase the risk of autism. [See also, Mutter J, Mercury and autism: Response to the letter of K. E. v. Muhlendahl, Int. J. Hyg. Environ. Health 208 (2005) (“Effective excretionof mercury will lead to higher hair, blood and urine mercury levels in a population that is beingexposed to mercury at a constant, chronic, low level. The problem comes when those, who do noteffectively excrete mercury, become exposed to a large dose, such as infants already exposed to mercury during pregnancy and who in addition received thimerosal containing hepatitis-B vaccines on the day of birth. The USA EPA set a standard of exposure on the safe level of ingested methyl mercury of 0.1 mg/kg body weight. Using this safety level, the newborn would have had to weigh 125 kg to take this exposure safely.”); Haley B.,Mercury toxicity: Genetic susceptibility and synergistic effects, Medical Veritas 2 (2005) 535–542535 (“This data in Figure 2 show that normal children have birth hair levels of mercury that correlate with the number of amalgam fillings in the birth mother; whereas, in sharp contrast, the autistic children have exceptionally low levels of birth hair mercury, no matter what the number of amalgam fillings are found in the birth mother. This data strongly implies that autistic children represent a subset of the population that does not effectively excrete mercury from their cells.”)]