Autism experts want to see more research
into mercury levels
Vaccines routinely given to babies by the NHS contain many
more times the maximum level of mercury their mothers are advised it
is safe to eat in fish, a BBC investigation has revealed.
A number of recent studies published in medical journals have
raised concern that exposure to the toxin may trigger symptoms of
autism and other disorders in susceptible children.
The government insists that a causal link has not been proven,
and the NHS continues to use vaccines containing a mercury-based
preservative for babies' three immunisations against diphtheria,
tetanus and whooping-cough at two, three and four months.
Children anywhere in the world in their
developmental stages are at grave risk if
you are injecting them with mercury
But a London GP, Dr Richard Halvorsen of Holborn Medical Centre,
has calculated that these three injections give children more than
40 times the recommended maximum intake of mercury by body weight
which their mothers are told is safe to eat in fish.
Government advice 'irresponsible'
Using advice from the Food Standards Agency published in February
2003, Dr Halvorsen claims that the first shot contains 43 times the
recommended level, the second 38 times and the third 34 times.
Together, the three injections give babies almost double the
maximum cumulative dose of mercury their mothers are advised to eat
over the two-month period of their injections.
A similar calculation four years ago led authorities in the
United States to remove mercury from childhood vaccines as a
Dr Halvorsen tells File On 4 that he has decided to give only
mercury-free vaccines at his clinic from now on.
"I would be acting irresponsibly as a doctor if I were to
continue to offer children vaccines containing a known poison,
mercury. The ethos of medicine is 'First do no harm'.
"However the Department of Health stubbornly and persistently
refuses to accept that mercury may be dangerous. With the
information we have today this is indefensible."
File On 4 also examines recent evidence from America linking
mercury in vaccines to the dramatic increase in diagnoses of autism
among children of primary school age over the past decade.
Autism rates have risen significantly in Britain and
Experts believe the most severe forms of the disorder are now
diagnosed in 1 in 500 UK children, a fivefold rise over 20 years.
A Congressional Sub-Committee reported this year that no level of
mercury should be considered appropriate in any childhood vaccine.
The committee chairman, Republican Congressman Dan Burton of
Indiana, tells File On 4:"Children anywhere in the world in their
developmental stages are at grave risk if you are injecting them
"If I were a British MP I would be raising hell about it just
like we have been in the United States. You should err on the side
In a statement, the Department of Health said that it was wrong
to compare the effect of vaccines with eating fish and shellfish,
since they contained different compounds of mercury.
This edition of File On 4 was broadcast on Tuesday, 24 June,
and will be repeated on Sunday, 29 June, at 1700.