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Chelation challenge testing: not scientific, not beneficial, may be harmful

Posted Aug 13 2009 6:17pm

Who knows about the toxic effects of mercury? Toxicologists. The premier toxicology group in the U.S, the American College of Medical Toxicologists, represents the doctors who test and treat people suffering from real heavy metal poisoning.

By contrast, many doctors have added chelation to their treatment options due to the false theory that autism is caused by heavy metal poisoning (specifically, mercury). These alternative-medicine practitioners usually depend on non-standard test to “prove” heavy metal poisoning. The favorite seems to be the “challenge” chelation test. In this test, a chelator is given to a person before a urine test. Chelators are chemicals which bind to metals in the body and allow them to be excreted more easily. Thus, if you give a chelator to a person, you expect their urine to show higher levels of heavy metals.

This has been discussed on this blog and elsewhere for a long time.

And now the American College of Medical Toxicologists has come out with an official position statement.

The practice is not scientific. There are no reference values for post-challenge urine metal testing. There is no correlation between actual metal exposure and post-challenge test results.

It is, therefore, the position of the American College of Medical Toxicology that post-challenge urinary metal testing has not been scientifically validated, has no demonstrated benefit, and may be harmful when applied in the assessment and treatment of patients in whom there is concern for metal poisoning.

It’s time for post challenge urine testing to end. It is time for chelation as a “treatment” for autism to end. It is time for those who promoted the “autism is mercury poisoning” theory to step forward and admit their mistakes.

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