July 2004 (vol. 20, #5)
1601 N Tucson Blvd #9, Tucson AZ 85716
c 2004 Physicians for Civil Defense

Mad Child Disease

The audience listened with rapt attention to a talk about one mad cow from Canada, which caused an investigation costing millions of dollars, observed Dr. Boyd Haley at the June 2004 meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. But the major disaster, he said, is the one that is happening to our children. Psychiatrists call it attention deficit disorder, autism, autism spectrum disorder, or pervasive development disorder. He calls it mad child disease and thinks that its various forms represent different levels of mercury toxicity.

Dr. Haley, who is chairman of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky, blamed the medical and dental professions, for not following the science and not speaking out.

Every quantitative study has shown that the largest contributor to the mercury body burden in Americans is dental amalgams. It is much more significant than coal-fired electrical power generation or fish consumption. Mercury vapor arising from amalgams can be demonstrated by shining light from a mercury vapor lamp on an amalgam placed in front of a fluorescent screen. An EPA mercury-vapor sniffer will show the level to be "extremely high." The level is increased ten-fold by brushing and another ten-fold by placing the amalgam in a cup of hot coffee, Dr. Haley stated.

In a position statement released in October 2002, the American Dental Association "ADA) asserted that "the process by which amalgam is made renders the bound mercury component stable." The FDA reaffirmed the safety of dental amalgam in March 2002; however, it has never tested or funded a test of an amalgam filling to determine whether it releases mercury, according to Dr. Haley.

In a July 2002 press release, the ADA admitted that a "minute" amount of mercury "may be released" by "vigorous chewing and grinding," but "there is no scientific evidence that this negligible amount results in adverse health effects." "Search under "mercury" at

Hardly any quantitative information is to be found on the ADA web site, although a search on "micrograms" turns up a statement that "minute" apparently means from 1 to 3 mcg/day. According to dental materials experts, "almost 500 amalgam fillings would be required to cause even the subtlest symptoms in the most sensitive person." Other sources say the average exposure as elemental mercury is 3.9 to 21 mcg/day. The absorbed dose is difficult to determine.

The ADA emphasizes that other options for fillings are more expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

Reports of relief of severe systemic and neurologic symptoms after removal of amalgam fillings date back at least to 1883 in the U.S. and 1926 in Germany. "See: Talbot ES, Injurious effects of mercury as used in dentistry, Missouri Dent J 1883;15:124-130; Stock A, [The danger of mercury vapor and amalgam], Medizin Klinik 1926;3233:1209-1213, 1250-1252 [German]; Stock A, [Chronic mercury and amalgam poisoning] [German], Zahnärtzliche Rundschau 1939;48:371-377, 403-407. Copies are available on request.)

Babies don't have fillings, but their mothers do"the more amalgams, the higher the mercury level in the hair of normal infants. But unexpectedly, autistic children have low levels of mercury in their hair, and the more severe the autism, the lower the level tends to be, even if mother has many fillings.

The mercury that is not found in the hair or the blood is retained in the tissues, Dr. Haley explains; some individuals cannot excrete it properly. Autistic children have more mercury in their baby teeth and unload much more mercury than normals when challenged with a mercury chelating agent.

Vaccines containing thimerosal, which immediately releases ethyl mercury, are the infant's next exposure. Dr. Haley charged that giving a child, on the day it is born, a bolus of mercury 60 to 80 times what the EPA considers a reasonably safe level "if taken by mouth) is not something an intelligent medical community would do. Thimerosal was removed from vaccines for cats and dogs in 1992, but thimerosal-free hepatitis B vaccine was not available for babies until 2000.

The epidemic of mad child disease started at the same time as the mandated vaccine program in 1982-1985, Dr. Haley notes. The first case of autism, for a time a uniquely American disease, was described in 1941. Thimerosal had been patented in 1928 and was added to various American drugs in the 1930s.

The male:female ratio is about 4:1 in all of the mad child diseases, suggesting that the cause is probably the same toxic vector. It happens that boys are much more susceptible to mercury toxicity than girls because testosterone potentiates toxicity while estrogen is protective.

The effect of mad child disease on a generation of American boys is devastating. While boys previously outperformed girls in mathematics on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the results have flip-flopped, Dr. Boyd said. Affirmative action is being practiced to get enough men into medical and law school; 100 points had to be added to SAT scores so that students could meet admission standards. This is not solely the effect of poor schooling, Dr. Haley believes.

Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., founder of the Autism Research Institute, said that 4% of American boys are autistic. He predicts a serious shortage of technically trained men and suggests that fully vaccinated children could lose 15 to 20 IQ points and have blunted emotions and behavioral problems.

The Institute of Medicine has called for an end to research on a connection between mercury and neurodevelopment disorders, and for channeling funds into "more productive" avenues. Officials, however, are unable to state their hypothesis to explain the epidemic of mad child disease, Dr. Haley said.

The FDA and the CDC have totally failed in their responsibility to protect Americans against unsafe medical and dental procedures, Dr. Haley declared. Research implicating mercury toxicity is ignored, and the only research that is considered acceptable is rife with conflicts of interest.

Between 1970 and 1980, nearly 15% of British children were not vaccinated as suggested, and only one autistic child has been found in that group. As 47% of Australian children are unvaccinated, autistic children in this natural control groups are now being sought. Dr. Boyd wagers that few will be found. Please write us if you know of any such children.


Collusion and Cover-Up of Mercury Toxicity?

On June 4, 2004, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel forwarded to Congress hundreds of disclosures from private citizens alleging public health concerns about thimerosal in childhood vaccines. Because none of the allegations come from federal employees, the OSC has no jurisdiction to investigate whether any law or regulation was violated.

It is alleged that:

"1) Vaccines containing 25 mcg of mercury per dose and carrying an expiration date of 2005 continue to be produced and administered.

"2) Some data sets showing a relationship between thimerosal and neurologic disorders no longer exist.

"3) Independent researchers have arbitrarily been denied access to CDC data bases.

It is also alleged that the CDC and the FDA colluded with pharmaceutical companies at a conference in Norcross, Ga., in June 2000 to prevent release of a study showing a statistical correlation between thimerosal exposure and autism, attention deficit disorder, and speech and language delays. "Instead of releasing the data presented at the conference, the author of the study, Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, later published a different version of the study in the November 2003 issue of Pediatrics, which did not show a statistical correlation. No explanation has been provided for this discrepancy."

"Dr. Haley said that the Verstraeten raw data were destroyed, and that data from a defunct HMO with rates much lower than other areas of the country, and from children too young to diagnose, were included in the published study to dilute the association.)

The OSC letter and the Verstraeten conference report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are posted at


Something Rotten in Denmark?

In preparing its report that denies a vaccine-autism connection and recommends suppression of further research, the Institute of Medicine "IOM) gave unusual weight to the work of certain authors. The Coalition for Sensible Action for Ending Mercury-Induced Neurologic Disorders "SafeMinds) investigated their financial ties and a "tangled web of relationships...spun to protect their commerce and their jobs."

The research was "literally paid for in full by the [U.S.] CDC," states SafeMinds. The authors are connected with the Statens Serum Institut "SSI), the Danish version of the CDC. SSI, which derives 80% of its profits from the manufacture of vaccines, exports millions of doses containing thimerosal, which is illegal to use in Denmark.

Between 1970 and 1990, the rate of autism in Denmark was about 0.5 per 10,000, one-tenth the rate in the U.S. Applying conclusions from Danish research on thimerosal to the U.S. is like drawing conclusions about mosquitoes transmitting malaria from studies in Minnesota, said Dr. Haley.


Mercury and the Heart

Athletes dying suddenly with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy"the most frequent indication for heart transplantation"have 22,000 times the usual level of mercury in their heart muscle, said Dr. Haley. The study was performed in Germany, and no others are indexed in MedLine: see Lorscheider F, Vimy M, J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;35:819-820.

A positive dose-response curve has been demonstrated for cardiac arrest in children and thimerosal dosage "Geier MR and Geier DA, Thimerosal in childhood vaccines, neurodevelopment disorders, and heart disease in the United States, J Am Phys Surg 2003;8:6-11).


Pink Disease

In the early twentieth century, the medical world was baffled by a serious epidemic in babies called pink disease, also known as acrodynia or erythredema. Children presented with a pink discoloration of the fingers and toes, desquamation of the palms and soles, and a morbilliform rash. Other symptoms included flushing; irritability; swollen, painful fingers and toes; weakness; tachycardia; elevated blood pressure; photophobia; and polyneuritis. One mother stated, "My child behaves like a mad dog." Mortality was about 7%.

This "peculiar neurosis of the vegetative nervous system in young children" occurred in babies between the ages of 6 months and 2.5 years in the English-speaking world but between the ages of 2 and 5 on the continent. Popular theories included viral infection, nutritional deficiency, or "over-nutrition" in more affluent families. Poisoning was not considered, nor did physicians investigate "the customs of mothers or the activities of the advertising and patent medicine industries." By 1950, considerable evidence had implicated mercury, which was widely used in medicaments such as teething powders. A popular textbook, however, dismissed this by saying that "very many babies are given such powders and do not develop pink disease."

The disease disappeared when mercury was withdrawn from most teething powders after 1954, initially through voluntary actions by the manufacturers.

From her study of "The Rise and Fall of Pink Disease," Ann Dally concluded: "The resistance to the evidence of mercury poisoning is typical of resistance to new medical knowledge and declined only when the opponents and sceptics grew old and disappeared from the scene" "Social History of Medicine 1997;10:291-304, copy available on request).


Additional Information

Civil Defense Perspectives, July 1999, Nov 2000, Jan 2003. "Dr. Rimland's site).

Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons "

" Geier MR, Geier D, Response to critics on the adverse effects of thimerosal in childhood vaccines, fall 2003. " Bradstreet J, et al., A case-control study of mercury burden in children with autistic spectrum disorder, fall 2003. " Yazbak FE, Autism in the U.S.: a perspective, winter 2003. " Bradstreet J, et al., Detection of measles virus genomic RNA in cerebrospinal fluid of three children with regressive autism, summer 2004. " Goldman GS, Yazbak FE, An investigation of association between MMR vaccination and autism in Denmark, fall 2004 "in press), with comments by Stott C et al.

* The dose makes the poison in a 400-year-old murder,, 6/30/2004. DDP Director Robert Cihak, M.D., comments on Heavenly Intrigue by Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder. Based on a hair sample, the diagnosis of mercury poisoning was made in astronomer Tycho Brahe in 1991. Did Johannes Kepler poison him in 1601?