As many of you know, I am very cautious about how many and what types of vaccines my children receive. I’ve talked about it several times, most recently here.
In the spirit of fairness and balanced journalism, I must share this article I just read this morning. Written by Brian Deer for the UK’s Sunday Times, it reports on how Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children, misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with Autism.
Keep in mind, this is a “Sunday Times investigation,” although it opens the discussion once again about the causes of Autism. The Autism Society of America explains, “Research indicates that other factors besides the genetic component are contributing to the rise in increasing occurrences of Autism, such as environmental toxins (e.g., heavy metals such as mercury), which are more prevalent in our current environment than in the past.” What I would like to know is if it’s not in the vaccines, then what is the source of our children’s exposure to mercury? What is it about our “current environment” that is so mercury-laden?
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s fact sheet, “Elemental mercury is a shiny, silver-gray metal that is a liquid at room temperature. It can be found in thermometers, barometers, sphygmomanometers, dental amalgams, batteries, fluorescent lights and electrical switches. It also was commonly found in household latex paint prior to the early 1990s.” Are we to blame fluorescent lights and light switches for the threat of neurological disorders? Oh yes, it’s virtually impossible now to find fish to eat which is not contaminated with mercury. (This former sushi fan was astonished by this warning list from the Natural Resources Defense Coucil. If you are pregnant or plan to serve fish to small children, it is essential to read this.)
I guess I’m especially sensitive to pharmaceuticals. My son Noah must face a surgical procedure this Spring which requires he be anesthetized with ketamine. My husband and I lay awake at night shuddering at the thought. We already witnessed the horror of anesthetizing a child when little Joseph cut his lip and chin at age two and required emergency surgery. For my births, I chose to stay home and deliver my boys in a birthing tub, attended by my husband and midwives–accepting no drugs of any kind, and I was overjoyed with both experiences and what easy, and fast labors they were. Yes, my sons have been vaccinated for a number of potential threats, but we have carefully selected those vaccines while refraining from others, and we have staggered the schedule so that they would not receive injections too frequently, or before their bodies had a chance to accept the foreign vaccine and readjust. I also prefer they have a chance to grow between each vaccine. It seems counter-intuitive to pump so many pharmaceuticals into such little beings.
Until the verdict on the safety of vaccines is absolutely clear, I’ll remain cautious.