In June 2007, the United States Federal Claims Court in Washington D.C. will begin hearings on 4,800 claims filed by parents who believe pediatric vaccinations caused their child’s autism. The lawsuits claim that thimerosal, a preservative that contains mercury and is used in vaccines, causes autism. After an extensive three-year investigation led by the Committee on Government Reform, it was concluded that mercury does not belong in vaccines and that thimerosal poses a very serious risk to those subjected to its toxicity.
As far back as 1982, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for the removal of thimerosal from all over-the-counter products. But it was not until July 1999 that the FDA asked manufacturers to remove thimerosal from pediatric vaccines. When researchers looked carefully at the vaccine schedule, they found that if the schedule were followed, American children had been exposed to 30 times the minimum acceptable level of mercury from vaccines.
The number of children affected by autism has been drastically growing in recent years. In 1970, autism affected 1 in 2,000 children. In the year 2000, 1 in 250 were affected. According to the Autism Society of America, in 2006, a staggering 1 in 150 children was diagnosed with autism. Autism is currently the fastest growing developmental disability in young people. Even though vaccines with mercury have been proven to contribute to autism, learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurological conditions, clinics still use thimerosal because other products containing mercury have been phased out.
Currently, lawsuits involving the makers of products containing thimerosal abound. These claims state the drug companies, for years, have failed to tell doctors how much mercury was contained in vaccines prior to the FDA being ordered by Congress to find out in 1997. Some of the large drug companies being sued are GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth-Ayerst and Eli-Lilly.