It's day 30 of Autism Awareness Month, which means 2,160 new cases of autism were added this month -- one every 20 minutes. At a cost of $3 million per child, the bill for this epidemic -- $90 billion per year -- will hit every pocketbook and every school budget. Hard.

And yet, the Centers for Disease Control deny an autism epidemic exists. Polio was considered epidemic when the numbers reached 1 in 3,000, but not so for autism, which now affects 1 in 150 -- a 100-fold increase in 30 years. The Department of Education puts the autism rate even higher: 1 in 67. Somali Immigrants in Minnesota who didn't even have a word for "autism" in their country are seeing an astonishing 1 in 28 autism rate in their children. Yet the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics claim "better diagnosis" explains the increase in autism cases. If so, then in 1992, 93 percent of kids with autism were missed. That's how many more children are receiving services for autism in schools today.

Immunization link

The increase in autism cases coincides with the CDC's recommended immunization schedule, which jumped from 10 vaccines in the 1970s to 36 vaccines today. A new study reveals our children are the most vaccinated on the planet, receiving double the number of vaccines of 30 other First World countries. Thousands of parents have described their children regressing after vaccines.

Of even greater concern, a peak in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome coincides with immunizations;

the U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates of all industrialized nations. The five countries (of those 30) with the lowest infant mortality rates give less than one-third the number of vaccines the U.S. mandates, and their autism rates are as little as one-tenth of ours.

The AAP staunchly maintains no proof of a link exists between vaccines and autism, and calls its occurrence after vaccination "coincidental." But many peer-reviewed studies demonstrate the link, none of which are published in the journal Pediatrics, which earns 80 percent of its advertising revenues from vaccine makers.

Studies have also associated vaccines with diabetes, allergies, chronic ear infections, learning disabilities, ADD and other neurological and immunological disorders. Former National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Bernadine Healy noted a study that found delaying the DTP vaccine by just a few months decreased by 50 percent the risk that a child develops asthma. Healy added that parents can legitimately question giving a one-day-old baby the Hepatitis B vaccine, calling it "a heavy duty vaccine" even at two or four months.

Kept quiet

Our national media (including Public Radio) receive billions of dollars in pharmaceutical sponsorship and advertising, and are generally uncritical of the vaccine program. When three cases out of 5,000 claiming a vaccine/autism link were defeated in "vaccine court," headlines around the country proclaimed, "Vaccines proven to not cause autism." But when a large award was recently made to the Banks family, who won their case and proved vaccines caused their son's autism, the media ignored the story.

The CDC tells us one in six children has a neurological disability, but provides no explanation as to why. Shots for minor childhood diseases such as chicken pox and rotovirus (diarrhea) may be the breaking point for a generation of children with disabilities. Babies receive immunizations for as many as nine diseases in a day, but the CDC has never conducted safety studies for the administration of multiple vaccines; they're only studied one at a time.

Other factors

Why is the incidence of neurological disorders so much higher for boys than for girls? It's hypothesized that males are more susceptible to neurotoxicity of vaccine ingredients due to hormonal differences; estrogen is protective against toxins while testosterone increases their effects. Several studies have proven this hypothesis, but the CDC and AAP do not acknowledge them nor do they offer an explanation for the far greater prevalence of these disorders among boys than girls. For the medical industry, there appears to be no turning back from a position of total defense of vaccines. Professional reputations and billions of dollars in vaccine revenue are at stake.

Certain conditions may predispose children to autism and other neurological disorders. In addition to gender, factors such as an underlying mitochondrial disorder, low glutathione levels (both testable), illness at the time of shots, and a family history of immunological or psychological disorders have been associated with an increased incidence of autism. (Research also shows that acetaminophen -- often recommended after shots -- suppresses glutathione levels, impeding detoxification of vaccine ingredients such as mercury and aluminum.) Screening for possible risk factors is not part of the current one-size-fits-all vaccine protocol.

Acceptable mercury?

Mercury in the vaccine preservative thimerosal is another point of controversy. While thimerosal was being phased out of childhood vaccines, the CDC began adding it back in by recommending the flu shot for pregnant women and children, every year up to age 18. Most flu shots contain 25 mcgs of ethylmercury -- a neurotoxin that has an affinity for the fetus and the brain. When five pediatric practices were contacted in Greenwich, it was learned that three administered the flu shot with the full load of thimerosal. One practice stated that a "thimerosal-free" shot (which actually contains trace levels of mercury) had been available, but only for children whose parents requested it.

Our own Greenwich Health Department was cautious enough to stock only the thimerosal-free flu shots for adults. Why are the developing brains of Greenwich's youngest citizens being exposed to 25 mcgs of ethylmercury while adults who obtain flu shots from the town are protected from mercury -- the most toxic non-radioactive element on earth? And why are the .5 mcg of mercury in "thimerosal-free" vaccines considered acceptable? (Would pediatricians inject .5 mcg of lead into a patient?)

Not even our dogs and cats receive thimerosal in vaccines; for them, it was removed in 1992. When too many vaccines overwhelm our pets' immune systems, it's called vaccinosis. There is no such diagnosis in humans.

In 1991, additional thimerosal-containing vaccines were licensed for children in spite of a memo sent by vaccine inventor Dr. Maurice Hilleman to Merck executives, informing them that infants might be exposed to unsafe levels of mercury. The memo, however, was never acted upon.

Dr. Frank Engly, a researcher who served on the CDC, FDA and EPA during the '70s and '80s, said, "The CDC cannot afford to admit thimerosal is toxic because they have been promoting it for several years "¦ If they would have followed through with our 1982 report, vaccines would have been freed of thimerosal and all this autism as they tell me would not have occurred. But as it is, it all occurred."

Money talks

A recent report on CBS' "60 Minutes" revealed that, "Congressmen are outnumbered 2 to 1 by lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry that spends roughly $100 million a year in campaign contributions and lobbying expenses to protect its profits "¦ In fact, there have been over 1,500 bills placed in front of the House of Representatives over the last eight years dealing with pharmaceutical issues -- and the drug companies, almost without exception, have gotten what they wanted." Pharmaceutical executives are also allowed to sit on CDC advisory boards where vaccine recommendations are determined.

The government assures us vaccines are safe while paying nearly $2 billion to parents of children who have died or been harmed by them. Vaccine cases were removed from civil courts in 1988 due to crippling litigation against vaccine makers. Just as the tobacco companies' 23 studies once "proved" no link between smoking and lung cancer, so the vaccine makers now claim 14 studies "prove" vaccines are safe. Decades passed before the tobacco/cancer link was finally accepted, and decades have already passed since autism was first linked to vaccines.

Other environmental triggers may play a role in the autism epidemic, including proximity to coal-burning plants which emit mercury, and maternal exposure to mercury from fish consumption and dental amalgams. In June, the FDA did an about-face on amalgams (which are 50 percent mercury), stating that they "may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetus." (It is not advised that amalgams be removed during pregnancy or while nursing.)

Today marks the last day of Autism Awareness Month, but tomorrow begins a new month in the autism epidemic.


For legislative information, go to [HERE].

For an alternate vaccine schedule, [HERE].

To see cases in which autism was not "lifelong and irreversible," [HERE].

Biomedical treatments can be found [HERE].

For a summary of flaws in the 14 studies frequently cited as proving vaccines are safe, visit To view studies linking vaccines to autism, click on "Our Studies."

View CBS News coverage that details how authorities are avoiding studying children who may be susceptible to vaccine harm: [HERE].

Google: "RFK Deadly Immunity" to read Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s description of collusion between government and the vaccine industry.

Nicole Crosby is a Cos Cob resident.