Usually vaccinations do not cause injuries to children. However, because vaccinations sometimes injure children, Congress enacted the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (Program) to compensate children who have sustained injuries resulting from childhood vaccinations.
Currently several lawsuits are pending throughout the United States relating to the use of thimerosal in vaccines. Thimerosal is a preservative containing ethyl mercury which was used to kill bacteria and fungus in vaccines. Before its use in vaccines ethyl mercury was not tested for toxicity to human beings. Epidemiological studies are underway to study the relationship between exposure to ethyl mercury and several neurological disorders including but not limited to pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); and autism. In October of 2001 the Institute of Medicine issued a report stating that is “biologically plausible” that there is a causal relationship between thimerosal exposure and autism.
Thimerosal contains 49.6% ethyl mercury by weight. Mercury has been known to be toxic to human beings for centuries. In some instances, children were exposed to 187.5 micrograms of mercury by the age of six months. According to the FDA’s Center for Biologics, an infant six months old who received all of the vaccine doses on schedule would receive 75 micrograms from three doses of DtaP, 75 micrograms of mercury from three doses of Hib, and 37.5 micrograms from three doses of hepatitis B vaccine – a total of 187.5 micrograms of ethyl mercury. This exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s own guidelines.
There are two population studies cited as the basis for calculations on the neurotoxicity of mercury in utero. In the Seychelles studies, infants were exposed to mercury in utero when their mothers ate a high daily consumption of methyl mercury contained in fish. The mothers had mean levels in hair of 6.8 ppm. No developmental defects were detected. In the second, a study from the Faroe Islands, infants were born to mothers with mean hair levels of 4.3 ppm. In contrast to the Seychelles mothers, these mothers were exposed to mercury through intermittent “bolus” consumption of whale meat. Lower scores on memory, attention, and language were associated with methyl mercury exposure in the children (see Mercury Study Report to Congress, EPA, 1997).
In some cases if a mother received an influenza, rhogham, or hepatitis b shot during pregnancy then the fetus may have been exposed to mercury in utero. If have a question as to whether your child may have been exposed to the ethyl mercury contained in the please call this office today at 1-800-513-1941