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Are autistic children tested for mercury levels to rule out mercury poisoning?


Asked by Anonymous at 2:33 PM on May. 12, 2010 in Kids' Health

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Answers (7)
  • People should be careful of the "provoked" mercury trick. Mercury is everywhere so people have mercury in their system - so it can be found in urine and blood. Now the general population has urine-mercury levels below 10 micrograms/liter. But what some doctors/labs will do is have the child use some type of chelating agent like such as DMPS or DMSA. which artificially raises mercury levels above the steady-state level. Then they claim that the child has high mercury levels and they can sell you stuff to fix that. It's a scam. Another scam is testing hair for mercury. It's not an accurate indicator since it can't be standardized and so provides no helpful information.  This article talks about other testing scams.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:35 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • No is not standard procedure.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:36 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • My sister's autistic daughter doesn't eat anything with mercury. No tuna, etc. I think she has elevated levels of mercury.

    Answer by mompam at 3:34 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • Sometimes but it is rare.

    Answer by purpleducky at 6:51 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • Children are not routinely screened for mercury poisoning like they are lead poisoning, so whether or not a child will be tested for heavy metals, including mercury, will depend on the child's doctor(s).

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 7:52 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • nope

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:20 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • There use to be a claim that autism was a form of mercury poisoning - but scientific studies have indicated that's not the case.  For example,  a 2007 study by Williams, Hersh, Allard, and Sears published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders found no significant difference in the levels of mercury found in hair samples between autistic children and their non-autistic siblings. (Also see this article.)  So since having autism is not a symptom of mercury poisoning there's no need to test autistic children.  But there are a lot of people willing to take parent's money to test their child for mercury or other "heavy metals" and sell them chelators to "cure" their children.  All with no scientific support.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:22 PM on May. 12, 2010