For Immediate Release CoMeD President [Rev. Lisa K. Sykes (Richmond, VA) 804-364-8426]
May 1, 2010 CoMeD Sci. Advisor [Dr. Paul G. King (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) 973-997-1321]
WASHINGTON, DC – A new study, “Thimerosal Exposure & Increasing Trends of Premature Puberty in the Vaccine Safety Datalink” published in the most recent issue of the peer-reviewed Indian Journal of Medical Research, confirms a significant association in American children between an increasing rates of premature puberty and increasing exposure to mercury from Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines.
Premature puberty (or precocious puberty) is characterized by sexual developmental before the age of eight in girls, and age 10 in boys. While the early onset of puberty may seem fairly benign, in fact, it can cause problems when hormones trigger changes in growth patterns. Further, children with the condition may feel rejected by their friends and socially isolated. Many of these children, especially the boys, are much more aggressive than others of their own age, leading to behavioral problems both at home and at school.
During the past decade, possible advancement in timing of puberty has been reported in the US. Recently, attention has been paid to the possible role of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the timing of puberty. The US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that mercury is a known endocrine disruptor and it adversely affects the steroid synthesis pathway in animals and humans.
Over the last several decades, many infants received significant exposure to mercury from Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines in the US. Thimerosal, an organic mercury-containing compound that is 49.55% mercury by weight, is initially metabolized in vivo into ethylmercury compounds and thiosalicylate.
This new study evaluated the relationship between mercury exposure from Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and the risk of a child’s being diagnosed with premature puberty by a physician in a cohort of 278,624 subjects in the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) database who were born in 1990-1996. Significantly increased rate ratios were observed for premature puberty for a 100-µg difference in mercury exposure from Thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines in the birth-7 months (rate ratio=5.58) and birth-13 months (rate ratio=6.45) of age exposure windows. Further, the observed overall prevalence rate for premature puberty was about one in 250 children. This represents a significant (about 40-fold) increase in the diagnosed rate of premature puberty of about one in 10,000 children reported in prior government estimates.
Consistent with the results of this new study, in the early 1950s with pink disease, now known to be primarily caused by the use of mercurous chloride (Calomel) in teething powders and other drugs given to infants, children with a “pink disease” diagnosis were also commonly found to have altered states of adrenocorticol secretion, excessive production of androgen hormones, and pseudohermaphroditism.
The investigators concluded, “…the results of the present study show an association between increased Hg exposure from Thimerosal-containing vaccines and premature puberty. The observed effects were consistent with the known human endocrine disrupting effects of [mercury] Hg exposure…[and] efforts should be undertaken to remove Thimerosal from all vaccines as rapidly as possible…”
This landmark study was supported by the not-for-profit 501(c) 3 corporations: CoMeD, Inc and the Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc, and by the Autism Petitioners’ Steering Committee of the no-fault National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).