Environment of Harmful Ideas

27 Oct

There used to be an email group on Yahoo devoted to the ideas in David Kirby’s book, Evidence of Harm? It was called Evidence of Harm or EOH for short. The book was ostensibly an exercise in investigative journalism.

  • Had there been a dramatic increase in autism amongst children born in the 1990s?
  • Was this increase caused by the increasing burden of mercury resulting from more thimerosal containing vaccines being added to the vaccine schedule at the beginning of the decade?
  • Was the government involved in a cover up?

Supporters of the vaccine-autism hypothesis saw the book as vindicating their beliefs. Hence the EOH group. But Kirby had always been clear about one thing. If mercury was a significant cause of autism then its removal from childhood vaccines should cause the numbers of new cases to fall. When the mercury was removed and numbers continued to rise Kirby wriggled a bit and then invoked environmental toxins as the reason. As a result the yahoo group Evidence of Harm changed its name to Environment of Harm. So now it was environmental mercury and not the mercury in vaccines. Well not any more. All versions of the Vaccine OS are a bit like Microsoft Windows . They have to be backward compatible with previous versions and are consequently laden with bloatware and very unstable. If you read the group today there are very few autism specific posts and lots of general anti-vaccine comments. This has slowed down the usual messages of sympathy for the perpetrator. But one member of EOH still managed this comment

But yesterday someone posted a link to yet another story of an autistic teen allegedly murdered by his mother. It is too early to speculate on the outcome and at least one newspaper has closed its online comment section on legal grounds until the trial is over. This has slowed down the usual messages of sympathy for the perpetrator. But one member of EOH still managed this comment. [edit]

To the group sadly I beleive we will see a rash of cases where , where they put there child to sleep. The same phenomena occured in england over a two year period , that force the UK gouv to increase funding Before they wake up , I suspect we will see many cases

Pierre

So murder is now “putting to sleep.” And heck it works! When parents went on a killing spree in the UK the government increased its spending on autism. I live in the UK I remember a few isolated cases of murder of autistics, no more, but sadly no less than what is happening in the rest of the world. I do not remember it leading to a growth in funding. What we have in the UK is a National Autistic Society that is committed to improving the lives of autistic people and their families. It operates across the lifespan. It does not demonize autism or cry wolf over vaccines and epidemics. Its campaigns section has enabled autistic people to talk directly to lawmakers and the law is changing. More services are on the way. But at no point were the deaths of autistic children exploited for campaign purposes. EOH is well named. If it can foster the sort of twisted thinking and disregard for the facts displayed by Pierre it truly is an environment of harm.

13 Responses to “Environment of Harmful Ideas”

  1. David N. Brown October 27, 2009 at 18:24 #

    “Addition of thimerosal-containing vaccines” is nonsense. Vaccines with thimerosal were in use since 1942.

  2. Mike Stanton October 27, 2009 at 18:47 #

    Thanks David,

    I have edited that bit to remove the ambiguity. There always were thimerosal containing vaccines. The changes to the schedule meant that exposure to ethyl mercury amongst fully vaccinated children was greater than the very cautious limits for exposure to methyl mercury laid down by the EPA. Thimerosal was removed completely from the schedule as a precautionary principle.

    I tend to agree with those experts who thought this was unnecessary and only helped to feed people’s suspicions about a non-existent health risk.

  3. Joseph October 27, 2009 at 18:59 #

    When an autistic person commits murder, that’s the fault of the autistic person of course. But when an autistic person is murdered, that still seems to be the fault of the autistic person according to some people.

    EOH is well named.

    Indeed.

  4. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. October 27, 2009 at 19:34 #

    Kinda apropos, given that Zack’s given up on life (because his environment, or at least a good number of people in it, have proven to be very bloody harmful):
    —————

    im gonna

    by Zach on October 26, 2009

    in Uncategorized

    kill myself in the hospital. stole laptop to write this.

    fuck kates parents, they ruined my life. I didnt rape or beat Kate. I’m sorry shes pregnant! I loved her!

    1 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. October 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    This is not a happy or satisfactory outcome to Zack’s case. There’s a good few people who should be bounced out of their fucking roles for this.

    So much for America as being the land of the free!

    You’re free if you’ve got the power and to get that you have to have the fucking money.

    I’d rather you didn’t leave this way, Zack. I’d rather that you came back and kicked against the pricks. But I can understand entirely why you want to. And I refuse to blame you for this decision.
    ———————–

    If he goes through with his plan, the comment will remain on moderation. Sorry to place it here but this is pretty relevant: harmful ideas about who and what he is have driven the poor lad to the end of his tether.

    And who involved in his and Kate’s cases has done their jobs correctly for it to end up this way?

  5. RAJ October 27, 2009 at 20:47 #

    Mike, you stated:
    “Thimerosal was removed completely from the schedule as a precautionary principle”.

    Not true.

    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228#t1

    “Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine”

    This was as of 2005.

  6. Mike Stanton October 27, 2009 at 21:42 #

    OK RAJ

    In 1989 the total mercury content of the vaccine schedule for children was 75 micrograms. (1 microgram = 1 millionth of a gram)
    In 1990 the HIB vaccine added another 75 micrograms.
    In 1991 HepB added another 37.5 micrograms.

    Thus by the age of six months a fully vaccinated infant in the USA would have a received 187.5 micrograms of mercury via vaccines.

    This has now been reduced to a trace of less than one third of one millionth of a gram of mercury in one vaccine for which completely mercury free alternatives are available.

    Regarding flu vaccines intended for children, two are thimerosal free and one contains a trace of less than one millionth of a gram.

    I stand corrected.

  7. dr treg October 27, 2009 at 21:54 #

    re environment of harm.
    Although there is no proof that mercury has caused the increased prevalence of autism could there be environmental causes? Is autism more prevalent
    1. In cities/polluted areas versus rural/clean areas.
    2. In children whose parents were born very far away from each other i.e. has international movement of people with cheap travel led to more cases?

  8. Sullivan October 27, 2009 at 22:32 #

    to be completely pedantic–no object of any substantial size is mercury free. This includes every supplement and alternative-medical drug therapy.

    I think reasonable people can agree on some definition of “mercury free”.

  9. Joseph October 27, 2009 at 23:24 #

    Is autism more prevalent … 1. In cities/polluted areas versus rural/clean areas.

    There’s no evidence of that unless you’re talking about administrative prevalence or prevalence determined by other passive means.

  10. Prometheus October 28, 2009 at 00:22 #

    I wonder if RAJ would be willing to concede that the amount of thimerosal in children’s vaccines in the US has been reduced to the point where a 3 year old child who has received all recommended vaccines is exposed to less thimerosal now (and since 2001) than they were immediately prior to the start of the “autism epidemic” (ca. 1980)?

    I’m willing to wait while RAJ does his math.

    I’ve seen this canard about “trace amounts” and it seems to be no more than a vain face-saving effort to keep people like D. Kirby and his followers from having to admit that they were wrong.

    Prometheus

  11. Joseph October 28, 2009 at 00:35 #

    To avoid nit-pickers like RAJ, the way I word it these days is as follows: 98% of thimerosal was removed from the childhood schedule in the US.

  12. RAJ October 28, 2009 at 02:53 #

    “I wonder if RAJ would be willing to concede that the amount of thimerosal in children’s vaccines in the US has been reduced to the point where a 3 year old child who has received all recommended vaccines is exposed to less thimerosal now (and since 2001) than they were immediately prior to the start of the “autism epidemic” (ca. 1980)”?

    Of course it has. But MIke said thimerosal had been entirely removed from the vaccine schedule. I am an agnostic about vaccines and autism. Its foolish to believe that most cases, or even a significant minority of cases can be attributable to vaccines. Its also foolish to believe that there are no cases attributable to vaccines.

    Adverse outcomes can’t be measurered by volume of exposure for any environmental exposure. For example, in Sweden when thalidomide was introduced as a safe and effective medication for use in pregnant women, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands pregnant women were prescribed Thalidomide ( no good studies on exactly what the magnitude of exposure was). When it was determined that thalidomide was responsible for limb deformities, a systematic search in Sweden turned up exactly a paltry 108 cases. You can’t find statistical significance if the poor outcome rate is a fraction of 1%.

    Swedish researches are conducting genome scans to see if they can determine the genetic component that is likley involved in thalidomide embropathy susceptability.

    One interesting fact about the influenza vaccine it is that in the US influenza vaccine is recommended for use in pregnant women during the flu season. Compliance is very low ,with Rhode Island having one of the highest compliance rates, but only 1/3 of pregnant women in RI are given the influenza vaccine during the flu season.

    If a vaccinated/unvaccinated study were ever conducted it would be interesting to see the outcomes of babies born to influenza vaccinated mothers compared to unvaccinated mothers.

    My guess is that there would be more poor outcomes in the unvaccinated group.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Environment of Harmful Ideas « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - October 28, 2009

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by badscienceblogs, chokha. chokha said: Autism Blog – Environment of Harmful Ideas « Left Brain/Right Brain http://bit.ly/3vnZJX […]

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