Expert Q+A: Is There a Link Between Vaccines and Autism?

Q. Is it possible that autism is actually mercury poisoning?

No. Mercury poisoning, also known as Mad Hatters Disease, is very different from autism. Symptoms of mercury poisoning include excessive sweating, tremors and kidney problems. Sufferers also talk and walk like they have had a stroke.

How do we know this? The information known about mercury poisoning comes from unfortunate communities that have experienced it. There is a large amount of data from the Faroe Islands, near Iceland. The people there would eat whale blubber contaminated with toxic levels of methyl mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Children, especially those exposed as fetuses during their mother's pregnancy, seemed to have lower scores on memory, attention, and language tests than their unexposed peers.

Here's the rub: despite all those problems, these children with mercury poisoning were NOT diagnosed with autism.

Another key point: mercury preservative was taken out of required vaccines SEVEN years ago. But autism rates are still going up.

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