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Mum's fillings - why there are four times more autistic boys than girls

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Mercury expert Professor Boyd Haley is concerned that the huge increase in autism may be due to exposure to mercury from mothers’ amalgam fillings while in the womb. He also believes that an interaction between the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal and the male hormone testosterone may play a part. His testimony before the US House Government Reform Committee (14.11.02) included the following:

  • Mercury in the mouth and intestines can mutate into more toxic organic mercury compounds like methyl-mercury, facilitating its uptake by babies in the womb [1,2,3]

  • Methylthiol, one of the major neurotoxins produced during gum diseases, reacts immediately with the mercury ion Hg2+, creating extremely dangerous organic mercury-thiol compounds. Like methyl-mercury, these can easily penetrate the blood/bowel and blood-brain barriers of adults,children and foetuses. This latter might explain why gum disease in the mother is the main risk factor for pre-term low birth weight babies

  • Raised mercury levels in mothers' fluids have been linked with even higher levels present in the cord blood and in the meconium (faeces) passed by the baby during the first days after birth [4]

  • Levels of mercury in the ‘birth hair’ of autistic children are usually lower than in normal children, whilst their blood levels of mercury are higher. In normal children, the level of mercury in ‘birth hair’ increases in line with the number of amalgam fillings in the mother’s mouth. In autistic children there is very little excretion of mercury into the ‘birth hair’ no matter how many amalgam fillings their mother has. When children with autism are exposed to mercury in tests, they retain higher amounts in the body than normal children. This all suggests that the bodies of children with autism are less effective at excreting mercury [5]

  • The mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal kills neurons, particularly when inorganic mercury, aluminium, lead or cadmium are present

  • Whereas the female hormone oestrogen decreases thimerosal’s toxic effects, the male hormone testosterone greatly increases its toxicity. Exposing neurons to even a tiny concentration of either thimerosal or testosterone alone killed 5% in three hours. Three hours exposure to the same concentration of thimerosal with just one nanomolar of testosterone added killed all 100%. This may explain the four-to-one ratio of boys to girls that become autistic and the fact that boys represent the vast majority of the severe cases of autism

  • Some children are born autistic. Others develop autism, possibly due to exposure to mercury in early childhood from vaccines, food or pollution. In a normal child, it is quite plausible that protective compounds in the body such as glutathione and metallothionine (which bind with mercury and other heavy metals), would prevent neurological damage. However, when a foetus is exposed to mercury its stores of these compounds are reduced

  • These compounds also decrease in the body with age, disease, other toxic exposures, oxidative stress and genetic susceptibility, possibly explaining why Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s have, until recently, been primarily diseases of older people

N.B. It is the mercury retained in the body’s cells that causes damage, not the mercury which has been excreted in the urine, hair and faeces.

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MMR - a hypothesis
Our studies found that the MMR triple jab (which does not contain thimerosal) was far less neurotoxic than any thimerosal-containing vaccines. If, however, it was given to a child whose blood/bowel or blood/brain barrier had already been damaged by exposure to, say, mercury from the mother’s amalgam fillings or an earlier jab containing thimerosal, the live measles virus in particular could easily penetrate the gut or brain where it could trigger substantial damage.


(i) Recently published research found that children with autism had significantly lower levels of glutathione, homocysteine and other amino acids essential for protecting the body against heavy metals like mercury. [6]

(ii) A copy of the US International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology’s list of ‘amalgam-free’ dentists may be obtained from the Green Health Watch office. Please send a large stamped addressed envelope. It can also be downloaded from website: www.amalgam.ukgo.com/ukdent.htm


[1] Heintze et al. Scandinavian Journal of Dental Research 1983;V91:150
[2] Rowland et al. Experientia 1975;V31:1064
[3] Leistevuo,J et al. Caries Research 2001;V35(3):163
[4] Ramirez,GB et al. Pediatrics 2000;V106(4):774-81
[5] Holmes,AS et al. International Journal of Toxicology 2003;v22(4)
[6] James,SJ et al. American Jnl. of Clinical Nutrition 2004;80(6):1611-7)

(10886) Professor Boyd Haley. US House Government Reform Committee 14.11.02





(10890) Jenny Spinner. GreenHealthWatch