Autism and thimerosal in France

23 Sep

France, the US and the UK have a nigh on identical prevalence rate for autism, estimated on this site at around 1 in 500. It should be noted that the inaccuracy of these stats are not in question. The stated prevalence is too low. However, what’s interesting is that that _rate_ is obviously similar. 1 in 500 across the board. Its a fair assumption that the real prevalence is equally similar.

And indeed it is not _too_ dissimilar. National prevalence in the US is put at about 1 in 1,000. In France, the 2003 prevalence was placed at nearly 1.6 per 1,000. Pretty close.

The French Hidden Horde

In a European Committee of Social Rights paper an intriguing statement was made as to the population makeup of autistic people in France:

…there are approximately 100,000 persons with autism in France, of whom 25,000 [are] children and young people.

Leaving a ‘hidden horde’ of 75,000 adults. Seeing as overall prevalence is so similar, is it really beyond belief that population makeup might be equally similar? If so, why?

French Causes of Autism

Are American children ‘special’? Its already a curious anomaly that the potential thiomersal body burden of a UK child (pre 2003) was 75 ug HG and the potential thiomersal body burden of an American child was 187.5 ug Hg. And yet our autism prevalence rate is similar – possibly even higher!

Lets not forget that apparently,

So its difficult to figure out how exactly _less_ thiomersal can cause _more_ autism. Hmm.

What’s even _more_ difficult to work out is what’s happened in France.

A study published in 2003, reported on a long terms study looking at disability prevalence, including autism, from 1980 – 1991 in Isere county, France. They found the beginnings of the current French prevalence rate for autism. Between 1980 and 1991, autism prevalence was slowly moving towards the 2003 figure of 1.6 per 1,000:

Prevalence rate per 1000

1980–82 0.31
1983–85 0.28
1986–88 0.81
1989–91 0.64

So what’s odd about that? Nothing, nothing at all. Unless you want to believe thiomersal caused this increase:

this issue was not really relevant in France where until 2002, apart from two hepatitis B vaccines, all childhood vaccines were thiomersal-free

That bears repeating: *all childhood vaccines were thiomersal-free*. So here we have a situation where France is marching in lockstep with the US in terms of prevalence and yet their vaccines are thiomersal-free.

But what about those two Hep B shots? Did they do the damage?

According to the IOM the total mercury body burden from 3 Hep B shots is 37.5 ug Hg. But lets not forget that French kids had only _2_ thiomersal containing chots so we need to shave a third (12.5) from that total leaving us with a total mercury body burden for _all French children prior to 2002_ of 25 ug Hg. Three times less than UK kids and over 7 times less than US kids. Its also worth noting that if the pre-2002 french vaccination schedule was at all similar to 2005’s then the two shots were received on two separate days over a month apart, giving a maximum daily exposure of 12.5 ug Hg.

And as Healing Arts (Alternative Therapies from the Program in Integrative Medicine) says:

There is, to date, no evidence of a causal link between hepatitis B virus infection and CNS demyelinating disorders….Additional epidemiological and immunological research is ongoing or planned to further examine any association between vaccination, including hepatitis B, and CNS demyelinating disease. Altogether, evidence in favour of an increased risk following vaccination is weak and does not meet the criteria for causality.

3 Responses to “Autism and thimerosal in France”

  1. Joseph September 23, 2006 at 03:47 #

    My impression was that the rate of diagnosed autism in France was low based on this Fombonne paper. I guess what you’re saying is that if we consider only diagnosed cases in the US and the UK, and not epidemiology, the rates are about the same.

    When JB Handley started to switch to the size of the vaccine schedule as the primary risk factor overriding thimerosal, I pointed out to him that France has a prety hefty vaccine schedule compared to Denmark or the UK. But now his answer could be that it evens out because they didn’t have thimerosal there. (Many in the mercury militia believe vaccine ingredients are interchangeable in autism causation).

  2. Ms Clark September 23, 2006 at 04:00 #

    I picked up a booklet at the MIND Institute about a year ago that was put out by the British National Autistic Society. I don’t have it with me, but it was called something like, Best Practices for Asperger’s or something like that. In a pull quote on one of the first pages it gave this statistic something like there are 100,000 people with Asperger’s in the UK, 25,000 children and 75,000 adults.

    I showed it to some of the MIND docs and they just changed the subject. One of the mercury dads said, “That’s Aspergers!” in a sort of disparaging tone.

    Yeah… and? That’s still saying that the rate of Asperger’s, in the view of the NAS, has been steady for decades. I’ve never heard anyone say that the current “epidemic” is purely in the “low functioning” sector… never mind that most adults who were “low functioning” as children even if they weren’t dx’d as children, get the Asperger’s label because it seems more understandable or more palatable or something. My point being that many of that 75,000 adults in the UK (if I remember the number correctly) would better be described as “autistic” in anyone’s book because they were actually non-verbal as young children.

  3. David N. Andrews MEd (Dec 2006) September 23, 2006 at 18:55 #

    “maybe the mercury is in the whine.”

    Yeh, the whine and the whinge of a man in New Hampshire….

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