16 Dec

CDC Study Expected to Announce 1 in 100 Autism Rate—A Startling 50% Jump in Just Two Years.

Evidence Points to an Environmental Trigger.

Safeminds CDC Study Expected to Announce 1 in 100 Autism Rate—A Startling 50% Jump in Just Two Years. Evidence Points to an Environmental Trigger. SafeMinds calls for more targeted environmental research and vaccine safety studies to begin immediately.

December 16, 2009


Atlanta, GA – Researchers report that autism has risen to an epidemic rate of 1 in 100 children in a study to be released on Friday by the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network office of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), This rate represents a 50% increase between the two birth cohort years of 1994 and 1996 and mirrors a recent study released by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which found a rate of 1 in 91 children, 1 in 58 boys.

In 2007, the ADDM released a similar study conducted in 2002 examining children born in 1994 that found the autism rate to be 1 in 150. In the study to be released Friday, the CDC looked at children born in 1996 (8 years old in 2004) and determined that there was a substantial increase of 50% between those two birth years.

This study and other recently published research clearly indicate that autism cannot solely be caused by genetic differences because it is impossible for genetic diseases to increase at such astronomical rates. It also cannot be explained by better diagnosing, changes in diagnostic criteria or migration patterns. It is clearly triggered by the environment. It’s well past time that CDC and NIH treat the autism epidemic with the national emergency status it deserves and act with crisis level response.

Though alarming, researchers MUST acknowledge the obvious trend and its connection to the environment to help children. This conclusion is supported by an NIH funded study released earlier this year by the UC Davis M.I.N.D, Institute which “found that the seven- to eight-fold increase in the number children born in California with autism since 1990 cannot be explained by either changes in how the condition is diagnosed or counted — and the trend shows no sign of abating.” The study’s lead investigator, Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto , a professor of environmental and occupational health and epidemiology and an internationally respected autism researcher, added, “It’s time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California.”

The two ADDM reports from 1994 and 1996 birth years provide autism researchers a significant investigative clue by narrowing the years needed to investigate what changed in the environment to trigger such an increase in autism in such a short time frame.

The skyrocketing increase in autism in the 1990’s and 2000’s came at a time when mercury emissions have been increasing worldwide, the content of mercury in infant vaccines more than tripled, and the number of vaccines given to children went from 18 shots to 36 shots today. Now, it is determined that autism increased at an incredible 50% between 1994 and 1996 at the same time that the uptake rate of the Hepatitis B vaccine among infants accelerated immensely. This vaccine series added 62.5 more micrograms of mercury to babies, putting them over the the dose considered safe by the EPA for an average weight infant.

The Hepatitis B vaccine at birth has also received sharp criticism from advocates after a recent study by Laura Hewitson, University of Pittsburgh, which found that infant macaques given the Hep B birth dose, adjusted for macaque weight, showed statistically significant developmental delays.

SafeMinds calls on the CDC and the National Institutes of Health Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to close vaccine safety research gaps identified by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) in an independent and transparent manner. We ask that the government appropriate money immediately to compare ALL health outcomes among fully vaccinated children with those of unvaccinated children. Incredibly, such a study has never been done for any single vaccine nor the entire vaccine schedule collectively and has now been officially identified as a vaccine safety gap by NIH’s own scientific advisory committee, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC).

The US government has spent billions on a failed H1N1 vaccination program, and to date, the CDC has yet to respond to the NVAC’s Recommendations to the to improve vaccine safety. These recommendations for greater vaccine safety were echoed in an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report released Friday (11th).

They stated that the United States needs to establish a permanent group that advises the government on vaccine safety and substantially increase research monies to improve vaccine safety and address public concern. “How many more scientific advisory reports need to be issued before the government chooses to protect vulnerable populations from vaccine injury?”, asked Theresa Wrangham, President of SafeMinds.

Additionally, SafeMinds calls on the IACC and National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to initiate research using existing data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to facilitate the establishment of reference ranges for mercury and other developmental toxicants, especially for vulnerable subgroups like women of child-bearing age and young children. Such a study could look for associations between higher body burdens of toxicants and a range of childhood health outcomes could help to assess levels of exposure that are unsafe, and could help set research priorities for toxicants which have the greatest potential to diminish human health. This information would facilitate the type of cause and treatment oriented research that is so desperately needed.

SafeMinds is a charitable non-profit and leader in funding and advancing the science regarding mercury exposure as it relates to autism. Our expertise extends beyond mercury-related exposures to broader vaccine safety issues, as many of our Board Members hold government agency committee positions such as the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, various CDC Vaccine Committees, the Department of Defense Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Program and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee’s Vaccine Safety Working Group.

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