Mercury concentration in ambient air and the risk of autism

Appollo Beach power plant 01432

Ecologic studies of the spatial relationship between disease and sources of environmental contamination can help to ascertain the degree of risk to populations from contamination and to inform legislation to ameliorate the risk.

Population risks associated with persistent low-level mercury exposure have recently begun to be of concern and current reports implicate environmental mercury as a potential contributor in the etiology of various developmental and neurodegenerative diseases including autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

In this demonstration of preliminary findings, we demonstrate for Bexar County Texas and Santa Clara County California, the hypothesis that the spatial structure of the occurrence of autism has a positive co-variation with the spatial structure of the distribution of mercury in ambient air.

The relative risk of autism is greater in the geographic areas of higher levels of ambient mercury.

We find that the higher levels of ambient mercury are geographically associated with point sources of mercury emission, such as coal-fired power plants and cement plants with coal-fired kilns. Although this does not indicate a cause, these results should not be dismissed, but rather seen as a preliminary step for generating a hypothesis for further investigation.

via The value of ecologic studies: mercury co… [Rev Environ Health. 2011] – PubMed – NCBI.

Ancestry of pink disease (caused by mercury) identified as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders.

Pink disease (infantile acrodynia) was especially prevalent in the first half of the 20th century. Primarily attributed to exposure to mercury (Hg) commonly found in teething powders, the condition was developed by approximately 1 in 500 exposed children.

The differential risk factor was identified as an idiosyncratic sensitivity to Hg. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have also been postulated to be produced by Hg. Analogous to the pink disease experience, Hg exposure is widespread yet only a fraction of exposed children develop an ASD, suggesting sensitivity to Hg may also be present in children with an ASD. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that individuals with a known hypersensitivity to Hg (pink disease survivors) may be more likely to have descendants with an ASD.

Five hundred and twenty-two participants who had previously been diagnosed with pink disease completed a survey on the health outcomes of their descendants. The prevalence rates of ASD and a variety of other clinical conditions diagnosed in childhood (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, Fragile X syndrome, and Down syndrome) were compared to well-established general population prevalence rates.

The results showed the prevalence rate of ASD among the grandchildren of pink disease survivors (1 in 22) to be significantly higher than the comparable general population prevalence rate (1 in 160).

The results support the hypothesis that Hg sensitivity may be a heritable/genetic risk factor for ASD.

via Ancestry of pink disease (infanti… [J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2011] – PubMed – NCBI.

Mercury Toxicity: What to do about it.

In the book Amalgam Illness by Andrew Hall Cutler the author has an excellent explanation on why ALA chelation is the only safe, effective means to remove mercury from the Brain and CNS.

In short: metalic mercury, organic mercury, methylmercury and ethylmercury are all processes by the body and can then be transformed into inorganic mercury.

When this happens in the brain and CNS the inorganic mercury is trapped.  The body has no mechanism for getting it out past the Blood Brain Barrier.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is the only safe and effective chelator that we currently have available to us which can cross the blood brain barrier and remove inorganic mercury from the brain.

Mercury has the potential to cause many of the same behavioral symptoms seen in children with Autsim.  If mercury is the root cause for the behavior and physical symptoms the person is suffering from, then appropriate, safe chelation has the potential to recover the person from the ailments they are experiencing.

In my opinion since ALA is a wonderful Antioxident when not in the presance of heavy metals and has the potential to offer relief if the symptoms are caused by metals it only makes sense to give it a whirl.  See Safe Chelation for details.

ATSDR – Public Health Statement: Mercury.

At the above link you will find information on the following:

1.1 What is mercury?

1.2 What happens to mercury when it enters the environment?

1.3 How might I be exposed to mercury?

1.4 How can mercury enter and leave my body?

1.5 How can mercury affect my health?

1.6 How can mercury affect children?

1.7 How can families reduce the risk of exposure to mercury?

1.8 Is there a medical test to determine whether I have been exposed to mercury?

1.9 What recommendations has the federal government made to protect human health?


Where can I get more information?