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Article of Interest - Vaccines & Mercury

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Bridges4Kids LogoASA Supports "Mercury Free Vaccine Act of 2005"
HR.881 Introduced to Protect Children, End Controversy
Autism Society of America (ASA), February 23, 2005
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Autism Society of America (ASA), the nation's oldest and largest organization dedicated to the supporting individuals and families dealing with autism, is pleased to announce its support of the bipartisan move by Congressman David Weldon, MD (FL-15) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) to assure the removal of childhood mercury exposure through vaccines. HR 881, the "Mercury Free Vaccine Act of 2005" was introduced last week in the US House of Representatives.

"Enormous discussion and research has been given to this issue," states Lee Grossman, President of ASA, "and while some progress has been made to remove the hazard of thimerosal from childhood vaccines, the lingering threat remains. Government agencies now report that as late as January 2003 there was mercury in infant vaccines still in the marketplace. HR 881 will clear up these issues and assure that parents are not forced to refuse to immunize as a way of preventing mercury exposure."

Grossman refers to thimerosal, a vaccine preservative comprised of 49.6% ethyl-mercury, a known neurotoxin. In 1999, the United States Public Health service and the American Academy of Pediatrics called for the removal of thimerosal from all vaccines with potential pediatric administration. Unfortunately, because no mandate for the removal was instituted, mercury-containing vaccines remain in the marketplace and parents are increasingly confused.

Many physicians and researchers suspect thimerosal may contribute, either directly or through a series of events, to neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

"Regardless of your position in the debate, everyone is in agreement that the injection of mercury into infants and pregnant women is an unnecessary practice" stated Dr. Cathy Pratt, Chair of ASA's Board of Directors.

The Weldon-Maloney bill came in response to increased scientific research from respected institutions such as Columbia University, University of Arkansas, Northeastern University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which clarifies that the ethyl mercury in thimerosal can be harmful to the brains of developing fetuses and young children. Many families in the autism community have called for this action since the 1999 announcement.

"ASA appreciates the leadership role Congressman Weldon a practicing physician and Congresswoman Maloney have taken in protecting our nations' children. The "Mercury Free Vaccine Act of 2005" logically addresses a problem that must be resolved. This is why ASA supports its passage," concluded Grossman.


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