In no way can I claim an expert understanding of the questions circling Thimerosal and Autism. What I do know is Autism and a limited scientific education, mixed with a serious passion for answers. I want to try and break down the truths and myths of Thimerosal as I see it and maybe help some people along the way.
First, we should start with a very brief laymen’s breakdown of what Thimerosal is. Thimerosal is basically a compound added to many vaccines to help regulate the effects that a vaccine will have on the human body. Thimerosal is widely used in many other applications, but for this purpose we are only considering the vaccines that are connected with Autism in some way. Thimerosal, the compound, contains Mercury. Small amounts of Mercury, but Mercury nonetheless. It is used as a preservative. The term preservative is similar in this instance to many foods. Food preservatives don’t contain Thimerosal, but Thimerosal is designed to act the same way in vaccines. Preservatives in food are designed to keep a shelf life of that food by preventing that food from contamination by harmful microbes. i.e bacteria and fungi. Thimerosal has that same effect for vaccines. Many times the microbes that Thimerosal protects us from could be life threatening. Basically, Thimerosal, in theory, is to kill or prevent microbes from contaminating vaccines that we use. Thus protecting us from getting sick from the vaccine.
The argument here is the traces of Thimerosal in vaccines such as the Flu vaccine is possibly causing Autism. To be very clear, there is no solid scientific proof of this yet. However, many believe the Mercury in the Thimerosal is contaminating the brain function. The Mercury, once metabolized, is attacking the central nervous system and motor skills. Again, no study is proving this theory yet.
The reason for this belief is wide spread. What we do know conclusively is any introduction of metals into the body, such as Mercury, have been proven to cause neurological damage. Essentially, Autism can be put in that classification…neurological damage. Many parents become aware of Autistic symptoms around the time vaccines are administered and therefore the connection is made. Many of the clearly noticeable symptoms of Autism come to the forefront around 18 months which is about the same time some major vaccines are also administered. Is it a coincidence or not? nobody can prove it yet.
With H1N1 flu vaccine becoming a state of panic in this country, those of us with Autistic children have a very serious decision to make. I have many questions and I will make them now. Will the vaccine make my sons autism worse? Is my 2 year old predisposed to Autism? Will this vaccine trigger something? Am i freaking out for nothing? What’s worse, the chance of autism or possible death from NOT getting the vaccine and getting swine flu?
All questions I am sure many people are having. What is true is that somebody with some power obviously sees the problem with Thimerosal as well because they have been working on getting rid of this preservative for a very long time. I have decided to get the vaccine for my kids. As a family we have discussed the pros and cons of both scenarios and the vaccines will happen. I can only have faith I made the correct decision for my kids.
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