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Autism: new link to jabs mercury.

Byline: By Robert Brooks

A ban on mercury in children's vaccinations has been called for by a concerned North mother who believes it was responsible for triggering her daughter's autism.

Rebecca Hoskins, from Shilbottle, Northumberland, claims the additive known as thiomersal, which is contained in diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccine (DTwP), is the most likely cause of her daughter Kaia's condition.

The four-year-old was diagnosed as being autistic last year, but subsequent blood samples have revealed that Kaia has around 20 times the acceptable level of mercury in her body.

Ms Hoskins and husband Dr Seth Racey, who both have degrees in biological science, have since launched themselves into research to try and identify the link, which they now claim is almost 100pc conclusive.

Kaia is now undergoing treatment at a specialist centre in Edinburgh to have the mercury removed, although the lasting extent of the damage is as yet unknown.

Health campaigners and politicians in Scotland have already called for an immediate ban on the use of vaccines containing the mercury-based preservative, after a report commissioned by US legislators claimed it was unsafe.

A spokeswoman for the Health Protection Agency, a division of the Department of Health, said that while mercury continued to be used in some vaccines, a link had still not been proven to exist between thiomersal and autism.

Ms Hoskins, a 29-year-old mother-of-three, said she would continue to fight to raise public awareness until the medical profession in England took notice.

She said: "We were devastated when we were told that Kaia was autistic. We were told that there was nothing anyone could do, so we had to look for answers ourselves.

"We waded through stacks of scientific papers, both here in the UK and in the US, and what we have so far found is deeply disturbing. It is clear that the symptoms of mercury poisoning in children are almost identical to those of autism.

"We feel there is a real risk to children being given vaccines containing mercury, and this practice should be halted immediately."

Thiomersal is used as a preservative in 13 vaccines in Britain, with DTwP routinely given to children between two to four months old.

Bill Welsh, chairman of the Scottish charity Action Against Autism, backed the call for the removal of all mercury-based preservatives from children's vaccines.

He said: "To allow a known neurotoxin to be injected into the bloodstream of an eight-week-old baby is a completely unacceptable risk to take. This was stopped in the US in 1999, and we believe these vaccines containing mercury should be banned immediately in the UK."

A Health Protection Agency spokeswoman said no link had been proven between autism and childhood vaccinations, although the agency was working to eliminate mercury in vaccines for children as a precautionary measure.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 19, 2003
Words:466
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