MERCURY: MY TWO CENTS WORTH
The article breaks no new ground, but it gives a pretty fair overview of some aspects of the debate. Of course, with such an incomplete debate, one cannot expect a very complete review. Along those lines, the article managed to spark an incisive commentary by Random John, who, responding to a sidebar to the article that noted the difficulty in testing for mercury toxicity, wrote:
So, there are two issues here. First, it’s possible that mercury does its damage and then gets out, or that mercury just hides out in the cells and destroys proteins while evading any type of testing we can do. Second, the article notes that chelation therapy does not remove methylmercury (and presumably ethylmercury, the type found in the vaccine preservative thimerosal). Now, it is possible for methylmercury to be metabolized into inorganic Hg2+ which is how it does its damage, and which may open it up for chelation therapy if it is accessible to the chelation agent.
At any rate, it’s still pretty unclear why chelation therapy seems to be successful for some children, but not for others. The polarity of the thimerosal and chelation debates does not seem to cover the ground necessary to understand what's really going on.
I am clear on one thing, though. I want to limit mercury exposure from all sources.
John poses the kind of questions that need to be addressed regarding what might actually happen to mercury in our kids. He also hits the nail on the head when he talks about the “polarity of the thimerosal and chelation debates.” Too many people on all sides of the debate(s) seem to wear blinders that prevent them from acknowledging how little we all know.
My opinion remains that we do our children a disservice if we focus solely on the question of mercury exposure as a causative factor in autism. Conversely, we do our children a disservice if we fail to explore the probability that mercury exposure plays a major -- perhaps the single most significant -- role. Until we start taking a broader look at all of the genetic and environmental factors involved, we won’t begin to understand why some protocols work for some kids and do not for others.