Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Its the chemicals (and forget what I just said)

Dr Harvy Karp has posted the third and final part of his series on vaccinations on Huffington Post. I wrote earlier about how the first two parts of the series regurgitated the same old tired lines about their being no link between vaccinations and autism.

In the final part of his series Dr Karp changes his tone and spends most of his time talking about endrocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and how they might be related to autism. These chemicals include things such as BPA, phtlates, and flame retardants.

He believes that there is a "rising tide of evidence" that some or all of these chemicals could be "a possible poison to our children's developing brains". No studies have been done that have established a link but Dr Karp thinks that "our exposure to EDCs is no mere theoretical concern" and that "we urgently need more research to discover whether EDCs, or other chemicals, are linked to the worldwide rise in autism". One of the additional pieces of research that is just getting underway is the National Children's Study (NCS). Dr. Karp has this to say about this study -
The NCS may be our generation's best chance to solve the autism riddle. It is exactly the type of study needed to tease out the subtle relationships that may exist between autism and chemicals.
I can only say one thing - its about time.

This sort of approach is long overdue given how much more common autism is than 30 years ago and how little work has been done to look into environmental factors involved in autism. I have to commend Dr Karp for writing about something so important and taking a break from chanting the "its genetic" party line.

Now for the funny part of the article.

Tucked down at the bottom of the post Dr Karp listed three other areas that he believes need additional research. If you didn't read what I wrote about the two earlier parts of the series either go read that (link above) or, even better, the actual two articles.

Here are the three items he lists:
  1. the autism risk in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated kids
  2. the metabolism of vaccine ingredients (like aluminum, added to make shots work better)
  3. more accurate determinations of the true incidence of autism
So you got that? After spending two articles worth of writing to say that the questions surrounding autism and vaccines have already been answered he turns around and says that we really need more study after all. If he really thinks that then why didn't he say so in the first place?

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