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A groundbreaking book, THE AGE OF AUTISM explores how mankind has unwittingly poisoned itself for half a millennium For centuries, medicine has made reckless use of one of earth's most toxic substances: mercury—and the consequences, often invisible or ignored, continue to be tragic. Today, background pollution levels, including global emissions of mercury as well as oth A groundbreaking book, THE AGE OF AUTISM explores how mankind has unwittingly poisoned itself for half a millennium For centuries, medicine has made reckless use of one of earth's most toxic substances: mercury—and the consequences, often invisible or ignored, continue to be tragic. Today, background pollution levels, including global emissions of mercury as well as other toxicants, make us all more vulnerable to its effects.  From the worst cases of syphilis to Sigmund Freud's first cases of hysteria, from baffling new disorders in 19th century Britain to the modern scourge of autism, THE AGE OF AUTISM traces the long overlooked history of mercury poisoning. Now, for the first time, authors Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill uncover that history.  Within this context, they present startling findings:  investigating the first cases of autism diagnosed in the 1940s revealed an unsuspected link to a new form of mercury in seed disinfectants, lumber fungicides and vaccines. In the tradition of Silent Spring and An Inconvenient Truth, Olmsted and Blaxill demonstrate with clarity how chemical and environmental clues may have been missed as medical "experts," many of them blinded by decades of systemic bias, instead placed blamed on parental behavior or children's biology. By exposing the roots and rise of The Age of Autism, this book attempts to point the way out – to a safer future for our children and the planet.


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A groundbreaking book, THE AGE OF AUTISM explores how mankind has unwittingly poisoned itself for half a millennium For centuries, medicine has made reckless use of one of earth's most toxic substances: mercury—and the consequences, often invisible or ignored, continue to be tragic. Today, background pollution levels, including global emissions of mercury as well as oth A groundbreaking book, THE AGE OF AUTISM explores how mankind has unwittingly poisoned itself for half a millennium For centuries, medicine has made reckless use of one of earth's most toxic substances: mercury—and the consequences, often invisible or ignored, continue to be tragic. Today, background pollution levels, including global emissions of mercury as well as other toxicants, make us all more vulnerable to its effects.  From the worst cases of syphilis to Sigmund Freud's first cases of hysteria, from baffling new disorders in 19th century Britain to the modern scourge of autism, THE AGE OF AUTISM traces the long overlooked history of mercury poisoning. Now, for the first time, authors Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill uncover that history.  Within this context, they present startling findings:  investigating the first cases of autism diagnosed in the 1940s revealed an unsuspected link to a new form of mercury in seed disinfectants, lumber fungicides and vaccines. In the tradition of Silent Spring and An Inconvenient Truth, Olmsted and Blaxill demonstrate with clarity how chemical and environmental clues may have been missed as medical "experts," many of them blinded by decades of systemic bias, instead placed blamed on parental behavior or children's biology. By exposing the roots and rise of The Age of Autism, this book attempts to point the way out – to a safer future for our children and the planet.

30 review for The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-Made Epidemic

  1. 4 out of 5

    The Angry Lawn Gnome

    My sympathies are to a certain extent with the authors of this this book, but for better or worse they fail to offer enough evidence to convince me of their central thesis. Namely, that mercury in one form or another is responsible for the dramatic increase in the number of cases of autism in the United States, the United Kingdom and to one degree or other the rest of the developed world. They do put a great many data points onto the paper, but simply cannot connect them. I say they have my sympa My sympathies are to a certain extent with the authors of this this book, but for better or worse they fail to offer enough evidence to convince me of their central thesis. Namely, that mercury in one form or another is responsible for the dramatic increase in the number of cases of autism in the United States, the United Kingdom and to one degree or other the rest of the developed world. They do put a great many data points onto the paper, but simply cannot connect them. I say they have my sympathy, since I have personally been there. I'm diagnosed as having Asperger's and ADHD (type Inattentive) and also have a son who falls somewhere on the autistic spectrum. In both instances, I've had the misfortune of bumping into my share of educators, medical professionals and well-meaning individuals who simply don't get it. They seemingly approach matters as though each case was stamped out by an assembly line and seem to go into their own variant of Inattentive ADHD when you try to explain how matters stand, and what sort of debilities my son or I labor under. I am also certainly no fan of what I call the "medical-industrial complex," (apologies to President Eisenhower) of Big Pharma, Big Government, laughably "independent" university laboratories and so on. But even taking the above into account, it just doesn't pass any enough smell tests to earn my trust. The easiest example to cite is the unfortunate case of Andrew Wakefield, and how it is handled by this text. They do not go quite so far as to call him a martyr for the MMR/Autism issue, but definitely portray him as not being allowed to present his side of the case, not being given a fair hearing, and so on. None of this stands up on examination. I think the most persuasive fact is the fate of the libel case Wakefield brought against the journalist Brian Deer et al. Wakefield withdrew the case before trial, giving no reason. Apparently under British law this made him personally liable for all court costs that Deer and those associated with him had incurred, and I presume he was forced to pay up. Moreover, libel is far, far easier to prove under British law than it is under American. Essentially the burden of proof is on the plaintiff in the US, and on the defendant in the UK. So the question becomes...Why? If he thought he had anything remotely resembling a decent case, what was the downside to proceeding with it? After all, he was stuck with the defendant's court costs anyways, as he handled matters. As noted, the playing field in the UK is tilted in favor of the plaintiff. The only answer that makes sense to me is that Wakefield simply could not allow a public presentation of his work, and possibly even more information damning him coming out during whatever the UK equivalent of discovery is. And none of this is mentioned anywhere at any time in the text. Leaving me with the distasteful sense that the authors started from a conclusion and worked backwards to prove this conclusion, leaving any inconvenient facts by the wayside. Which is just too bad. What we have here is a tainted work, that does contain some interesting information, but which simply cannot be relied upon by itself to provide an accurate picture. ======= On what I'll call a sidenote, I'm curious what the authors would consider a safe vaccine, and what would separate safe from unsafe. On pp. 325-6 they declare themselves NOT "anti-vaccine" mention a few examples, but offer nothing other than an appeal to their own authority that benefits out-weighed costs in these cases. I poked around their site for a bit ( see here) and first found nothing I'd consider pro-vaccine(?) anti-anti-vaccine(?), where I guess the latter term would better convey being NOT "anti-vaccine." In fact, the site struck me as vehemently "anti-vaccine," though I certainly didn't read everything on it. And, second, if there was anything there on how and when a vaccine is considered safe I certainly didn't see it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    This book is written by a journalist; not a doctor or scientist. While this doesn't discredit him, I'm not eager to agree with his sometimes hyperbolic claims. He more or less blames mercury poisoning for everything but the common cold. According to this author, epidemics caused or worsened (by the treatment of) by mercury include hysteria, syphilis, general paralysis, schizophrenia, CROHN'S, lupus, and of course autism. The cause of autism has become a bonafide witchhunt, and I appreciate the c This book is written by a journalist; not a doctor or scientist. While this doesn't discredit him, I'm not eager to agree with his sometimes hyperbolic claims. He more or less blames mercury poisoning for everything but the common cold. According to this author, epidemics caused or worsened (by the treatment of) by mercury include hysteria, syphilis, general paralysis, schizophrenia, CROHN'S, lupus, and of course autism. The cause of autism has become a bonafide witchhunt, and I appreciate the cynical tone with which he has written the book. Mothers are blaming vaccines while doctors blame genetics; it's certainly become very sordid and circular, so I am glad to have someone put all the facts and theories into one book. Do you think Jenny McCarthy will shut up now? She's raising awareness, I know...I'm just sick of seeing her face.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Clewis53

    Pseudo science at its worst. Calls to mind an early 20th century study that determined that the low incidence of cervical cancer in Jewish women was attributable to their not eating pork. Coincidence is not causality.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    The Age of Autism By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill This book is 364 pages long and it took me a very long time to read it. I usually fly through books, but this one read more like a textbook from school. BUT it was super informative and I'm so glad that I read it. I weeded through it and found some excellent information that I have typed up below. I know it will be time consuming, but I promise that you will learn A LOT. My notes: Worldwide mercury exposures have been skyrocketing in the last decade. The Age of Autism By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill This book is 364 pages long and it took me a very long time to read it. I usually fly through books, but this one read more like a textbook from school. BUT it was super informative and I'm so glad that I read it. I weeded through it and found some excellent information that I have typed up below. I know it will be time consuming, but I promise that you will learn A LOT. My notes: Worldwide mercury exposures have been skyrocketing in the last decade. A new study has shown that inorganic mercury was detected in the blood of 30% of U.S. women in the CDC’s most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. That figure was 1,500 % higher than what was reported in the 1999-2000 survey, when only 2% of women had inorganic mercury in their blood. No one knows the exact effect of these rising mercury exposures in people, and especially in pregnant woman and their unborn children. But we do have some idea. Mercury can ravage the immune system, trigger autoimmunity, attack mitochondria, increase oxidative stress, activate brain cells called microglia, spark chronic neruro-inflammation and block production of glutathione- the body’s most powerful mercaptan that protects us from mercury in the first place. And all of these problems can be found in at least some children with autism. The ignorance and arrogance of medical professionals, who have insisted over the years that mercurials in medicine could treat or prevent the onset of horrible, disfiguring diseases, while utterly ignoring or dismissing the evidence that their “medicine” was often doing more harm than the diseases it was designed to fight. This book traces the rise of autism with a landmark 1943 report by Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Leo Kanner on 11 anonymous children born in the 1930’s. But right from the start, we discovered more than we bargained for. No one, it seems, ever tried to identify those original children and their families. We believe that autism was newly discovered in the 1930’s for the simple reason that it was new. The organic chemicals industry that grew out of chemical warfare research research during WWI led to new commercial uses for mercury, including the introduction of some extraordinarily toxic compounds made from ethylmercury. This, our research suggests, led directly to the first cases of autism. By the time our 5 year journey was done, we had worked our way through newspaper clippings, professional archives, city directories, cemetery records, ancestry searches, last-known addresses, and libraries from Washington D.C. to Moscow, Idaho. We found and interviewed family members of several of the first 11 children; most memorably, we met 2 of those “cases” ourselves. Leo Kanner’s original cases suggest that from the very beginning autism was an environmentally induced illness- a toxic injury rather than something inherited or inculcated. Certainly, some children were more susceptible to mercury exposure- and that may implicate genetic vulnerabilities. This is very different, however, from saying that autism is an inherited genetic disorder. Vaccination is a risk factor. We do not pretend to know precisely which exposures, in which combination, may have placed a role in the current rise in autism rates. Possible suspects include sources of mercury from power plants and fish consumption, chemicals in plastic baby bottles to those found in pajamas. We do believe mercury-and that certainly includes the ethylmercury in vaccines- continues to be a major player as autism rates have surged over that last 2 decades. For reasons still unknown, there can be a long time lag-days, weeks, months, even decades- between a mercury exposure and the manifestation of its ill effects. When it was rubbed on a skin lesion, the sore would disappear. For the physician, dedicated to his mission of combating disease, the temptation to ignore the delayed effects of the favored therapeutic was often overwhelming. The negative consequences were mysterious, difficult to trace, and easy to pin on other factors, especially the illness itself. This skewed combination of risk and benefit has made mercury controversial throughout the history of modern medicine. In August 1996 Dartmouth chemistry professor Karen Wetterhahn, a star of the chemistry department and recipient of many prestigious grants from the National Institute of Health and she thought she knew the risks. She was a toxicologist who was working on understanding how chemicals like mercury and chromium might cause cancer, had donned goggles, lab coat, and gloves to work with a small vial of dimethylmercury. She used state of the art protection: latex gloves and she carefully handled the vial underneath a chemical fume hood that blew vapors away from her. But the contents of the vial- 3 or 4 drops, about the weight of a small paper clip- accidently spilled, and within seconds they had penetrated the protective layer of latex and begun working their way through her skin. For many weeks thereafter it was as if nothing happened. She continued with her normal duties and soon forgot about the accident. Then, slowly, she began to notice subtle signs of illness that became progressively more serious. A full five months later, she was finally admitted to the hospital suffering from mental confusion, balance problems, and loss of appetite. It was only then, after doctors ran a standard panel of tests, that a surprising result jumped off the page: mercury levels that were off the chart. Despite efforts to remove the mercury chemically through chelation, her symptoms evolved quickly and she was in a coma when she died in June 1997, ten months after the exposure. Dimethylmercury is secured behind locked doors in in less that 100 lab’s around the world, but the mercury that we are exposed to has 4 main paths to reach us: Natural Emissions- Natural events like volcanoes and forest fires. As humans we’ve developed methods to detoxify these low levels of exposure- the body has built in defenses, molecules like glutathione and other natural chelators that filter out the mercury reaching us in our water, air, and food. These defenses usually permit us to deal with natural mercury exposures just fine. Industrial Emissions- the single largest source of mercury is from coal. Mercury is released in the environment it finds its way into the food chain through numerous paths. As the toxin passes from prey to predator up the food chain, its concentration is magnified. By the time we eat tuna we’re ingesting one of the most concentrated storehouses of mercury in the world. Manufactured Chemicals- Mecury is an attractive element for chemical companies in synthesizing commercial products, especially pesticides. Medicinal Sources- Ethylmercury was removed from some vaccines beginning in 1999 after federal officials became alarmed at the total amount an infant could receive by the age of 2. Dentists around the world regularly place “silver” fillings- which are actually amalgams of mercury, tin, and nickel- into the mouths of millions. Ethylmercury remains in regular childhood immunizations for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and influenza. The much publicized fear of bird and swine flu epidemics has been used to excuse the continued presence of mercury in millions of doses of influenza vaccine administered to pregnant women and infant children. The autism rates have gone from 1 in 10,000 in the 1960’s and 70’s to 1 in 100 today and autism affects boys about 4 times the rate of girls. For those who find a way to adapt their lives and purpose to support their disabled son or daughter, the greatest fear is their child’s inability to live independently. “What will happen when I die?” worries every parent of an autistic child. Salivation is a sure sign of an overdose of mercury. The victims of disease are more than just statistics on paper: They have names and faces; their suffering is real and should never be lost in the search for scientific proof. Truth matters, and denial of an injury that produces suffering, whether direct or indirect, dishonors the victims and puts future generations at risk. Our discoveries, we hope, will honor the suffering that has gone before as it helps the truth emerge. The Age of Syphilis is marked by the singular triumph of penicillin. 6,000 tons of mercury pollution are introduced into our atmosphere worldwide each year. Where did all this mercury come from? And why are we now exposed to more of it than ever before? The answer is inseparable from the substance that created the modern world: coal. The main source of environmental mercury is coal. But mercury isn’t the only toxin launched into the environment by coal burning; lead and arsenic are as well. The rate of mercury entering the atmosphere and being deposited around the globe has increased many times since the Industrial Revolution. The studies all agree that the source of this increase is “anthropogenic”, i.e. caused by the activities of man. A major aspect of the pollution problem was never actually solved, simply deferred. The old saying goes, “The solution to pollution is dilution”. Smokestacks grew higher and pollutants like mercury were simply lofted into the upper atmosphere to come to earth with the rain in places like the U.S. Northeast, California, and Minnesota with its increasingly mercury-contaminated fish. An accident in Japan ultimately galvanized world attention over the dangers of industrial mercury usage. In 1956 wastewater from a Chisso Minamata Bay. Children born to mothers who ingested methylmercury from the bay’s contaminated fish while pregnant had profound physical and neurological problems even though their mothers did not show any impairment. Symptoms included crippled hands and feet and muscle weakness that resembled cerebral palsy, along with familiar signs of mercury poisoning including narrowing of the visual field, speech and auditory problems, and sensory neuropathy. Minamata disease is what is came to be known as. Brunio Bettelheim, a 20th century Austian transplant to Chicago, had become the leading advocate of the theory that neglectful parents, and especially mothers, were responsible for their child’s autism. He based his notion on his observations of autistic children and his conclusion that autism results from emotional rejection of the child by his parents. Bernard Rimland, a researcher and autism parent, noted that Kanner earned his M.D. in 1919 in Berlin, came to Hopkins in 1928, and “has been reported to have seen well over 20,000 children in the course of his psychiatric career…it is remarkable, in retrospect, that none of the autistic children were seen in Kanner’s first 12 years of practice, and all 11 were born after 1930.” In 1943, the same year Leo Kanner’s landmark paper was published, an Austrian pediatrician, Hans Asperger, finished a study that centered on a case series of 4 boys and submitted it to a medical journal. It was titled, “Autistic Psychopathy in Childhood” and published in 1944 at the height of WWII. The aim of the paper was to report on a personality disorder already manifest in childhood which to my knowledge has not yet been described, Asperger wrote. The children I will present all have in common a fundamental disturbances resulting in severe and characteristic difficulties of social integration, although they were higher functioning than the majority of Kanner’s cases because they had functional speech. We need to ensure that all children have the maximum opportunity to develop the potentials with which they have been born. Rimland began a biomedical treatment, using supplements and dietary changes. It was based on the belief that autism has its roots in a child’s metabolic and immune processes, as well as his or her susceptibility to toxins. Rimland did find, 2 decades later, a chemical connection in the parents’ background. The earliest studies of autism rates, from Victor Lotter’s 1966 survey in Middlesex County, England, was the first of its kind. It was the oldest survery published of autism prevalence rates in a defined population. His estimate was 4.1 per 10,000 or 1 in 2,400. The first attempt to scientifically establish the autism rate in the US was in Wisconsin in 1970. Darold Treffert found a very low rate of “classic infantile autism” in 0.7 per 10,000 children born in the 1950s and 1960s; using a broader definition that included onset later in childhood, he reported an overall rate of 3.1 per 10,000. Autism was not a recognized diagnosis in DSM until 1980. A comprehensive 2004 study review put autism at around 30 to 40 per 10,000 for full syndrome or “Kanner autism” and about 67 per 10,000 for the broader catergory of Asperger’s and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Early researchers went looking for autism in the Third World. More than 30 years ago, Victor Lotter took a tour of Africa looking for autism cases. He didn’t attempt a full prevalence study; instead he simply went to visit “collections” of mentally handicapped children in institutions in hopes that he would be able to find evidence of autism in these high concentrations of mentally impaired children. He visited 9 cities in 6 African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, & South Africa) in search of as many cases of autism as he could find. He personally screened more than 1300 mentally handicapped children during a 2 year period. He found that the number of autistic children found was much smaller than expected. Only 9 of the 1,312 mentally handicapped children he saw in 9 cities were autistic, a rate of 1 in 145, less than the autism rate today in the entire U.S. childhood population. In the spring of 1974 Bernarad Rimland’s group, the National Society for Autistic children, held its annual conference. They hypothesized there were 3 clusters of autistic children. One was made up of cases that seemed to run in families. Another was a group that had gastrointestinal issues and sensitivity to wheat; they called this group celiac autism. The third group showed signs of a metabolic disturbance; in particular, the purine pathway, which produces molecules like adenosine and uric acid, seemed abnormal. Each of these three clusters reflected themes- genetic susceptibility, gastrointestinal difficulties, and disturbances of a particular biological pathway. The results of this study point in the direction of chemical exposure as an etiological factor in the birth of autistic children. Despite all the new interest in biological issues, not much progress has been made. And then something important happened. The early autism prevalence estimates of 1 in 2,400 to 1 in 10,000, which had held constant for 3 decades, suddenly began to look obsolete. Autism rates started to rise. It’s time to start looking for the environmental culprits for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California. There’s genetics and there’s environment. And genetics don’t change in such short periods of time. Autism has been characterized as an inherited disorder, with clear, if complex, genetic causes. Autism is therefore grouped together with a host of other inherited diseases, many of which have had well-characterized, single loci. Autism thus entered the 1990s as a disease of neurologists and geneticists. The approved therapies, almost exclusively psychotropic drugs and behavioral programs, presumed that the genetic condition was unchangeable. Parents reported puzzlement with a history of apparently normal development followed by unexplained regression and loss of function. In 2004 Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, the CDC’s lead autism epidemiologist, gave a presentation on autism outside of Boston that one of us attended. In the course of her lengthy talk, she said something that surprised us. “About 10 years ago, we began to hear concerns from around the country that people were seeing more cases of autism.” Certainly, the CDC as the agency on the front line of all emerging public health problems from HIV to swine flu, would have had some idea that there was an autism problem far before any of the rest of us did. What did the CDC know about the autism epidemic and when did they know it? A case study in a small New Jersey township offers a revealing glimpse. The CDC has the dual responsibility for monitoring vaccine safety and promoting the vaccine schedule; at the same time it’s also responsible for surveillance on diseases like autism. It’s clear that CDC was at least beginning to hear reports of rising autism rates since 1995. In 1983, the CDC recommended 10 vaccines for this age group. Today, the recommendation is 36 vaccines. In his bestselling book, “Evidence of Harm”, David Kirby says, “If thimerosal is one day proven to be a contributing factor to autism, and if U.S. made vaccines containing the preservative are now being supplied the world over, the scope of this potential tragedy becomes unthinkable. The United States, at the dawn of the 21st century, is not exactly the most beloved nation on earth. What if the profitable export of our vaunted medical technology has led to the poisoning of hundreds of thousands of children? What then? So, in a very real sense, we have a tale of 2 futures. If we do nothing, the numbers will continue to rise. The cost of inaction will be 3 million people with autism in the United States alone. If, on the other hand, we take collective responsibility for the problem, we can choose to end the Age of Autism and to reduce its burden in the current autism generation. That is the choice we face, between a nightmare and a dream.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Readyourselfhealthy

    I really wanted to like this book as I know it has the right interest at heart, but I was ultimately disappointed that they did not prove their central thesis--i.e. that the rise in autism is caused by mercury and the increase in vaccinations. In fact, much of what they wrote about was not proved in this book at all. The whole beginning section of the book was a history of syphilis and hysteria and though interesting, it makes conjectures--about Mozart no less--that cannot possibly be proven. Th I really wanted to like this book as I know it has the right interest at heart, but I was ultimately disappointed that they did not prove their central thesis--i.e. that the rise in autism is caused by mercury and the increase in vaccinations. In fact, much of what they wrote about was not proved in this book at all. The whole beginning section of the book was a history of syphilis and hysteria and though interesting, it makes conjectures--about Mozart no less--that cannot possibly be proven. Though there is some very interesting information in the book--such as the that there is no known cases of autism in the Amish community (a fact that has kept me up at night!), it is disappointing in failing to prove its main ideas. In the case of vaccines the book shows that the increase in autism was seen at the same time as the start of the increase in vaccines in the early nineties when mercury (in the form of thimerosal) was used as a preservative in vaccines. But thimerosal was taken out of most childhood vaccinations in 2001 and the incidences of autism continue to increase. Yes, vaccines now contain aluminum, but the primary point of this book is about mercury poisoning, and any questions about vaccinations are not answered by reading this book. Ultimately it is a disappointment not just for what is does not prove, but for the fact in being a book with strong theories that it cannot prove, it gives material to the other side of the debate when they can so easily sweep this book aside.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Missy Olive

    This book was an interesting read though it was cumbersome to get through at times. I enjoyed the history of medical conditions particularly the use of mercury to treat syphilis and the subsequent side effect. The link between mercury and autism sure seems plausible based on the other mercury related conditions. I especially like how the authors discuss the gene/environment interaction. Everyone needs to read this book so that we can have candid discussions about necessary changes to our current This book was an interesting read though it was cumbersome to get through at times. I enjoyed the history of medical conditions particularly the use of mercury to treat syphilis and the subsequent side effect. The link between mercury and autism sure seems plausible based on the other mercury related conditions. I especially like how the authors discuss the gene/environment interaction. Everyone needs to read this book so that we can have candid discussions about necessary changes to our current practices.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debra Morris

    The book began interestingly. I found the whole connection between hysteria and mercury poisoning fascinating. I loved the way he went through Freud's early cases. The book became less strong as it approached the whole question of the connection between autism and mercury (vaccines). I did find the read informative, however and I'm glad I read the book. The book began interestingly. I found the whole connection between hysteria and mercury poisoning fascinating. I loved the way he went through Freud's early cases. The book became less strong as it approached the whole question of the connection between autism and mercury (vaccines). I did find the read informative, however and I'm glad I read the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    CynthiaQ

    Interesting history of the use of mercury in medicine.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maria Ryan

    Autism: The Disease of Our Time This is a thoroughly and impressively researched history on the environmental and medical effects of various mercury forms on humans by two respected investigative journalists. Written in timeline format and calling to the forefront a number of doctors, scientists, and researchers, a line is drawn from the indisputable effects of toxicity from this element to the first recorded cases of autism noted by Dr. Leo Kanner in the 1930’ and 1940’s. This timeline extends ba Autism: The Disease of Our Time This is a thoroughly and impressively researched history on the environmental and medical effects of various mercury forms on humans by two respected investigative journalists. Written in timeline format and calling to the forefront a number of doctors, scientists, and researchers, a line is drawn from the indisputable effects of toxicity from this element to the first recorded cases of autism noted by Dr. Leo Kanner in the 1930’ and 1940’s. This timeline extends back as far as is needed to illustrate the point that as far as mercury is concerned, the question as to whether or not it causes or plays a fundamental role in causing autism has most definitely not been answered. The book was published in 2010 and here we are eight years later and still without an answer. It is shocking and unacceptable. The ability for epidemiological studies to be manipulated and subject to outright fraud and the refusal to use animal model studies which show the gravest effects of mercury is referred to throughout the book. Still, nothing has changed. Olmstead’s and Blaxill’s research is both fair and balanced and others could and should take a page from their book so to speak. They make not a single claim that cannot be backed up and when a conclusion hasn’t been reached, they state it outright. The various theories of autism and autistic-like behavior throughout time are offered including the most outlandish, shameful, and ludicrous among them like Bruno Bettelheim who claimed that the parents of autistic children were psychotic murderers. This reference harks to a modern day Bettelheim who goes by the name of Dr. Peter Hotez who calls “anti-vaccine organizations” hate groups who hate their family and hates their children”. Welcome back Bettelheim. There’s not nearly enough lunacy in the world. Glad you can add your special kind of crazy to the mix. The authors’ also included in addition to Kanner’s original autism case histories, but also the decades later follow-up for seven of the original case series. This proves a very useful tool in seeing how this rising epidemic might play out in the adult years and beyond and is an important component to this body of research though I fear that many cases will have a far more tragic outcome both for the afflicted and their family. My hope is that this book gets into as many hands as humanly possible and that the proper research will eventually be done though we should not have had to wait this long. It appear that we may have a longer wait but we have been warned. BRB Rating Read It.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alannah Marie

    This book is a bunch of pseudoscientific crap. Anyone who knows anything about Autism knows that the symptoms of Autism and those of mercury poisoning are absolutely different. Vaccines do not contain elemental mercury for a start nor do many contain thiomersal and those that do contain thiomersal do not have it at levels that are toxic. This book neglects to mention the actual history of Autism - that increases in diagnosis are the result of increased recognition of the condition. There have be This book is a bunch of pseudoscientific crap. Anyone who knows anything about Autism knows that the symptoms of Autism and those of mercury poisoning are absolutely different. Vaccines do not contain elemental mercury for a start nor do many contain thiomersal and those that do contain thiomersal do not have it at levels that are toxic. This book neglects to mention the actual history of Autism - that increases in diagnosis are the result of increased recognition of the condition. There have been oddballs and misfits in society during the entire history of humanity. Not to mention that many were labelled as insane and spent their lives in asylums. This book also neglects to mention genetics. The only thing Age of Autism is good at is blaming things for no good reason. It doesn't matter if it is vaccines, the medical profession, GMOS, fluoridated water, plastic, food preservatives, gluten, or whatever - Age of Autism will use it as a scapegoat.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Young

    the basic premise here is that mercury exposure leads to autism. defends wakefield, explains away contradictions. the book made me think about disease in general though, and the sudden appearance of different maladies and teh way we treat them. it is true that we can't simply change the environment in which we evolved for billions of years and not get sick. i spent as much time on the web researching claims as i did actually reading the book, so it was a great introduction to the controversy, an the basic premise here is that mercury exposure leads to autism. defends wakefield, explains away contradictions. the book made me think about disease in general though, and the sudden appearance of different maladies and teh way we treat them. it is true that we can't simply change the environment in which we evolved for billions of years and not get sick. i spent as much time on the web researching claims as i did actually reading the book, so it was a great introduction to the controversy, and i like controversy. that said, the authors do not make their case. i think they realize the weaknesses and are a little sneaky in their presentation in order to conceal them. if you're the type to blindly accept all information if it's published in a book, skip this. otherwise you can learn things, but certainly not things about the cause of autism.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eva Yap-Todos

    Read this book in 2017. Lots of info on mercury and its’ uses and effects in medicine throughout history. It presents the first few ‘cases’ of possible mercury- related autism. Hypothetic, because it can’t be proven since those patients died already, however for anyone open to further explore this matter ‘Vaccines revealed’ documentary completes it with many, many ‘cases’ of autism related to mercury. One proof that autism may be caused (directly or indirectly) by mercury is when chelation thera Read this book in 2017. Lots of info on mercury and its’ uses and effects in medicine throughout history. It presents the first few ‘cases’ of possible mercury- related autism. Hypothetic, because it can’t be proven since those patients died already, however for anyone open to further explore this matter ‘Vaccines revealed’ documentary completes it with many, many ‘cases’ of autism related to mercury. One proof that autism may be caused (directly or indirectly) by mercury is when chelation therapy (ie. removal of mercury from the body or rather brain) works!! Indeed autism is complex but one contributing factor clearly seems to be mercury (ie. thiomersal which is a mercury-based preservative in vaccines). Families of autistic children testify of this connection between autism and vaccines. And MDs who researched it lost their jobs.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Pseudoscientific crap. Andrew Wakefield admitted that he made the original study up, and further studies have proved that there is no link between vaccines and autism. The reason why a lot of kids show symptoms of autism after their shots is because autism symptoms start manifesting around that timeframe. There are children who can't get vaccines because of illnesses or allergies and rely on herd immunity. Refusing to vaccinate your children is not only wrong, but dangerous. The reason why autism Pseudoscientific crap. Andrew Wakefield admitted that he made the original study up, and further studies have proved that there is no link between vaccines and autism. The reason why a lot of kids show symptoms of autism after their shots is because autism symptoms start manifesting around that timeframe. There are children who can't get vaccines because of illnesses or allergies and rely on herd immunity. Refusing to vaccinate your children is not only wrong, but dangerous. The reason why autism rates are increasing is because more people are being diagnosed with it. It's not an epidemic, it's just that doctors have gotten better at diagnosing autistic people. I was diagnosed as ADHD and schizoid before they finally figured out I had Asperger's.

  14. 4 out of 5

    A.d.

    Rehashes a lot of what I have learned over the last half-dozen years and fills in a lot of historical background.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Cunningham

    A thoughtful and intriguing look at history’s medical faux-pas and the consequences of mercury exposure. The authors, without a doubt, cast a shadow over the medical usage of mercury and our consistent exposure to this day. I found this text to be refreshing as the authors tried less to win the reader over and more to educate and promote critical thinking. Blaxill and Olmsted remained humble and aware of the shortcomings in some of the conclusions they drew. Nonetheless, they highlight a topic m A thoughtful and intriguing look at history’s medical faux-pas and the consequences of mercury exposure. The authors, without a doubt, cast a shadow over the medical usage of mercury and our consistent exposure to this day. I found this text to be refreshing as the authors tried less to win the reader over and more to educate and promote critical thinking. Blaxill and Olmsted remained humble and aware of the shortcomings in some of the conclusions they drew. Nonetheless, they highlight a topic most don’t dare touch-the rising cases of autism and their potential causes. We are neglectful at best if we don’t research every possible cause of this terrible disorder. At worst, we are intentionally subjecting generations of children to this debilitating and family-altering disorder. The question remains-when will we, as a society, wake up and take charge of our health once and for all?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Talia

    This book was very interesting, however, I stopped reading because one of the case studies included in the book was detailed beyond what I was comfortable reading. The case was dealing with sexual abuse and was descriptive in what happened to the victim. I didn't need to know all of that, it did not seem pertinent to the overall purpose of the book. Otherwise, the book seemed well-researched and brought to light a lot on medicinal mercury use that has happened in the past years. Much of the afte This book was very interesting, however, I stopped reading because one of the case studies included in the book was detailed beyond what I was comfortable reading. The case was dealing with sexual abuse and was descriptive in what happened to the victim. I didn't need to know all of that, it did not seem pertinent to the overall purpose of the book. Otherwise, the book seemed well-researched and brought to light a lot on medicinal mercury use that has happened in the past years. Much of the aftermath of mercury seemed to be ignored historically and the basic idea of this book, I think, is to remind us to not ignore how potent and dangerous mercury is. Important information to know, but unfortunately spoiled by describing sexual abuse in too much detail for me. 2 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Desiree

    Unfortunately, I walked away with a gloomy impression of the path and (lack of) success of research into autism. As an environmental engineer, I understand the dangers of mercury, and other toxins - yet it never fails to amaze, how much we are exposed to these chemicals, daily, in increasing amounts. I wish that there was more information about the danger of maternal dental amalgams - but like with vaccines, most researchers refuse or are afraid to deal with the possibility that we are poisoning Unfortunately, I walked away with a gloomy impression of the path and (lack of) success of research into autism. As an environmental engineer, I understand the dangers of mercury, and other toxins - yet it never fails to amaze, how much we are exposed to these chemicals, daily, in increasing amounts. I wish that there was more information about the danger of maternal dental amalgams - but like with vaccines, most researchers refuse or are afraid to deal with the possibility that we are poisoning children.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Bedgood Hernandez

  20. 4 out of 5

    Capella

  21. 4 out of 5

    Undreya

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kellie Villani

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bhall3

  24. 4 out of 5

    Terri Keegstra

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cathleen Cook

  28. 5 out of 5

    Callen Wilhelm

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Meades

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dealer

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