Can Mercury Cause Autism?

can mercury cause autism

Thimerosal was used as a mercury-containing preservative in some vaccines until there were concerns that these vaccines may cause autism, prompting its removal from most children’s vaccinations by 2001.

This study explored the relationship between copper, lead and mercury concentration in hair and nail samples from children with autism and controls. Results demonstrated no correlations.


Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that poses serious health threats to infants, leading to widespread controversy regarding possible connections with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Therefore, ongoing research should focus on understanding both safety and risks associated with mercury exposure so individuals can make informed decisions regarding their personal wellbeing and overall health.

Although the relationship between mercury exposure and ASD remains controversial, research indicates that higher mercury levels during gestation can cause immune, sensory, neurological and motor dysfunctions that impact social skills, speech language abilities and communication abilities. Potential sources of mercury exposure include vaccine preservative thimerosal (used in some vaccines), fish consumption or mercury dental fillings.

These findings have led some individuals to avoid vaccinations – an act known as vaccine hesitancy. Unfortunately, as a result of this move some children may miss important immunizations against measles, mumps, and whopping cough. Therefore it is imperative that public awareness campaigns regarding vaccine hesitancy dispel myths surrounding autism and mercury use.

Studies involving mercury may present contradictory findings, which indicates a need for further exploration into any possible link between mercury exposure and ASD. Some of the discrepancies can be attributed to differing methodologies or sample sizes used. Furthermore, results could also be affected by mercury’s many forms – some more toxic than others.

To reduce mercury exposure, individuals can make lifestyle choices to limit exposure such as limiting fish intake and choosing low-mercury options like salmon or shrimp while adhering to local advisories for fish consumption. Households can take steps to lower mercury exposure by replacing energy efficient fluorescent bulbs and disposing of any products containing mercury such as batteries properly. Seeking professional advice may provide accurate information regarding mercury’s relationship to ASD; knowledgeable healthcare providers can offer guidance, support and tailor strategies specifically tailored for those affected by ASD.


Mercury poisoning can result in various symptoms, including autism. Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication skills and severe symptoms can arise as a result. Studies have revealed that children living with autism have elevated mercury levels in their bodies which could contribute to symptoms. Therefore it is imperative for parents seeking professional guidance when caring for a child diagnosed with autism to take preventative steps that minimize exposure to mercury so as to lower risks of harm to themselves or other.

Although numerous studies have been conducted on the link between mercury and autism, their results often conflict. This may be a result of various factors; among these are how different forms of mercury affect different body systems and measurements; additionally, measuring methods may alter results as ethylmercury is more detrimental to brain toxicity than its methylmercury counterpart.

Researchers conducted a recent study that assessed blood levels of mothers who consumed fish high in mercury (such as shark and other predatory species) during the first half of gestation and then compared these levels with test scores of their offspring post birth and found no link between pre-natal mercury exposure and autism or autistic traits in their offspring.

Note that other factors, including genetics and chromosomal conditions, can also play a part in the onset of autism in certain children, as can medications and vaccines that increase risk. Furthermore, its symptoms tend not to fall within one particular range.

Studies of autism can shed light on its complexity; however, pinpointing its exact causes remains difficult. Recognizing a possible link between mercury and autism can provide comfort to families living with this condition; by seeking professional guidance and adopting safe practices to minimize their risk for mercury poisoning and improve their quality of life.


Studies demonstrate mercury exposure as a significant risk factor for autism, with both direct and indirect effects being revealed; such as autoimmune activation, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and neuronal damage being directly caused by mercury levels; these indirect effects include neuronal damage as well as loss of connectivity; with autism symptoms increasing with mercury levels and neuronal damage levels- consistent with an underlying neuroinflammatory process being the source.

Studies have revealed that people with autism tend to have higher mercury levels in their brain, blood, urine, baby teeth and hair than is typical for people without it. Hair mercury levels are an accurate reflection of blood levels; additionally urine porphyrins that indicate exposure to methylmercury also tend to increase among those living with autism as it binds with detoxification enzyme glutathione-s-transferase leading to an increase in urinary porphyrins.

Studies have also demonstrated that our ability to metabolize and excrete mercury depends on genetic factors. Certain genes are more vulnerable to mercury’s toxic effect and have less capacity for breaking it down and excreting it from our bodies, so it is crucial that individuals understand their genetic makeup to ascertain if they are at risk of mercury poisoning.

Recent research published in Metabolic Brain Disease revealed that exposure to heavy metals increases the risk of autism spectrum disorder and other metabolic disorders associated with heavy metal exposure. Researchers from University of Basel and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne conducted the research. Their study highlights the need to test for this specific gene variant among those exposed to mercury or any xenobiotic substances like organophosphate insecticides, phthalates, or glyphosates.

One study showed that using dimethylmercaptosuccinic acid, or DMSA for short, to chelate mercury and lead levels significantly decreased among children with autism. Their autism symptom scores also improved as metal levels fell; therefore it is essential that you consult a healthcare professional who specializes in treating autism spectrum disorders so they can evaluate your child and provide advice based on individual circumstances.


Mercury (Hg) can poison the brain, heart, kidneys and lungs of people of all ages. High levels of methylmercury in the bloodstream can damage the nervous system resulting in mental retardation and other health concerns. Exposure can come from eating certain fish species or dental amalgam fillings containing small amounts of mercury; pregnant women who consume large quantities of contaminated fish regularly may also increase their mercury exposure levels.

Mercury is an environmental pollutant found in various forms, from liquid to solid form. Because of its toxic properties, mercury exposure poses serious threats to pregnant women and young children who may become exposed through breast milk or bottle feedings. Prolonged mercury exposure has been linked with learning disabilities, behavioral problems, impaired motor skills and sensory dysfunction in infants and toddlers.

Autism is a complex condition with various factors impacting its onset. For accurate advice and guidance regarding autism spectrum disorders, it is wise to seek the expertise of medical professionals specializing in them as well as keep abreast of ongoing research into mercury exposure as a potential link.

Although many people worry about the relationship between mercury and autism, research does not support such claims. Instead, most scientists agree that both genetic and environmental factors play a part in autism development; nevertheless mercury exposure remains an area of interest as it may impact many aspects of health and behavior.

So, for example, some researchers believe mercury poisoning during gestation could contribute to autism development; however, research results are inconclusive and require further examination. Some studies have discovered an association between high blood levels of mercury during pregnancy and an increase in autistic children while other have not found such correlation. Furthermore, how blood levels of mercury are measured may impact on their outcome of any given study.

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