When Autism Today asked me if I would be interested in touring Canadian cities to speak about my book, “Evidence of Harm – Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic,” I jumped at the chance. This simmering controversy affects Canada every much as it does the United States, and I am honored to be able to discuss the debate with our northern neighbors.
It will be the first time I take the “Evidence of Harm” message outside the United States.
Why should Canadians be concerned about mercury and their children? There are many reasons. To begin with, many Canadian kids received significant amounts of thimerosal in their vaccines until at least 1994, and some children may have received mercury after that time. In fact, many children born in three Canadian provinces and three territories received mercury in their Hepatitis B vaccines until at least 2002, and perhaps beyond. These exposures were in addition to possible exposure through the influenza vaccine, which is often given to pregnant women and children in Canada.
Mercury Exposures Today
Canadian children who received the flu and hepatitis B vaccine series were exposed to as much as 63 micrograms of ethylmercury in the first seven months of life, nearly equal to the amount of exposure in the UK, until very recently. And prenatal exposure to thimerosal in Canada continues, in the form of the flu shot (25 mcgs). Also, some women may have received injections of thimerosal-containing immune globulin products while pregnant. Prenatal exposure to mercury is thought to be extremely hazardous for the developing fetus.
Meanwhile, a number of other thimerosal-containing vaccines for children are still used in Canada, including some single antigen acellular pertussis and conjugate H. influenzae vaccines, diphtheria-tetanus (DT), and diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccines, all of which contain 25 micrograms of ethylmercury.
All of this comes on top of environmental exposures in Canada, including fish consumption, dental amalgams and air pollution. Some Canadians are exposed to increased levels of mercury from coal-fired plants in Canada and the US. Meanwhile, mining activities are also a significant source of environmental mercury contamination.
Autism in Canada
It is much more difficult to assess mercury exposures and autism statistics in Canada than in the US. To begin with, there are no reliable nationwide autism prevalence statistics in Canada, and it is impossible to say what are the current trends in the number of cases in the country. The rate of Pervasive Development Disorders in Canada is said to be 1-166, roughly the same at the US. However, these numbers include children up to 19 years of age, and many of them would have received mercury in vaccines. The prevalence of full blown autism in Canada, as opposed to PDD, has not been reported publicly.
These are just some of the many topics I will address on my tour. I will also give an update on all new science that has been generated recently and recent action in the US Senate. In addition, information on controversial new treatments for autism – such as chelation and methyl B12 therapy – will be discussed.