Mercury Disclosure Question on November Ballot for OP

I went to vote early today, and I was surprised to find on the ballot a special question for Oak Park related to disclosing the amount of mercury in certain vaccines.

Specifically, the referendum asks (via Patch):

Shall the Village of Oak Park require those who inject vaccines, in the Village of Oak Park, to give the vaccine recipients, their parents or guardians the vaccine manufacturer's specific package inserts of the vaccines they will receive, and to inform them that, thimerosal/mercury-containing vaccines, including but not limited to, influenza (flu), meningococcal (meningitis) and tetanus vaccines, may contain 3 1/2 times the daily toxic dose of mercury exposure for an 148-pound adult?

Oak Park Patch story here:

If you're like me -- unaware this issue is on the ballot -- I post this so you all can do your own research and not be surprised. Voting for judges is challenging enough. Looking up public health information while standing at the ballot box is no fun at all.

Information on thimerosal is available from the CDC here:

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Comment by Emily Culbertson on November 1, 2010 at 6:52pm
Gina, thanks for your comment. I am glad you are going to vote tomorrow. And I too believe people should become educated about the facts behind vaccines. Autism and ASD can be heartbreaking, but the movement to encourage parents and adults to turn their backs on one of the most groundbreaking public health advances of the 20th century has not been shown to reduce the rate of autism and in fact may have increased the rate of illness from vaccine-preventable disease. What may look like transparency from one vantage point looks much more like creating fear from mine.

Can you provide evidence published in a peer-reviewed journal to support your statement that "there are vaccine-injured kids in our very towns, with severe brain damage from mercury/thimerosal?" I do not believe that statement can be supported by research. Many researchers have investigated this link but cannot find one (, and the one study linking MMR to autism has been completely retracted by its publishers (

At the same time, at least one retrospective study suggests that the removal thimerosal from vaccines has not correlated with a decrease in autism (

Meanwhile, children and adults die in this country from diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. In California, five unvaccinated, otherwise healthy children died from January to June 2010 from pertussis ( And the CDC estimates that seasonal flu contributes to at least 3,000 deaths each year and perhaps more (

Gina, I'm doubtful I can persuade you, and I appreciate you and others reading this. But I'd encourage doctors and patients to find other ways -- not mandated by township law -- to discuss these issues.
Comment by Gina Orlando on November 1, 2010 at 11:46am
The referendum helps alert and educate people about the possible dangerous ingredients in vaccines. Please don't think that the FDA, the pharmaceutical industry, the CDC, the AMA or the government has your best health in their interests. There are very natural ways to strengthen the immune system, as well a natural remedies to deal with flu that don't involve injecting toxic mercury into your system. Why aren't we educated about these from these organizations and our health department? Please do your research on vaccines to assess if they are really safe and helpful. Remember, there are vaccine-injured kids in our very towns, with severe brain damage from mercury/thimerosal. Besides the horror it causes them and their families, it takes your tax dollars in part to help educate them with their private tutors and IEPs. So this referendum is helpful. I'm voting Yes.

Comment by Dominican University on October 28, 2010 at 11:11am
Emily, I was trying to find the letter as well, and no luck.

Comment by Emily Culbertson on October 28, 2010 at 10:21am
Thanks for the note, Krissy! The letter from the Dominican professor does not yet seem to be online -- hopefully it will come online soon.

Comment by Dominican University on October 28, 2010 at 9:57am
I'm glad you brought this up. I was wondering what this referendum was all about. Here's an article that I just saw in today's Oak Leaves about both sides of the issue:,oak-park-vaccine-1...

Comment by Emily Culbertson on October 26, 2010 at 8:47am
Me too, Judith. A number of us last night considered what fun we could have if you only need 15 signatures. I am not sure about who decides how questions get worded, whether its the people circulating the petition or somebody else. To yours and Dave's points, I think the petitioners "win" even if this question never becomes law.
Comment by Judith Warren on October 26, 2010 at 8:21am
I always wondered why we were voting on issues in a referendum that really had no legal standing. It takes 15 people to put an issue on the ballot? That surely leaves it open for some crackpot organizations to take up my time.

As for the sponsoring organization - the newest info on their website, marked "new" is from 2005.

Who decides how the question can be worded on the ballot? Fear-mongering should not be allowed.

Comment by Emily Culbertson on October 25, 2010 at 7:30pm
Thanks for your comment, Dave! and for adding the link to the FDA content. I agree with you about disclosure in principle, but I also think that any disclosure in dosage should be required to summarize what is known and not known, based on federal research, about the impact on mercury in humans. I don't want people to see this question for the first time in the ballot box, without the time to do some research for themselves.

Comment by Dave! on October 25, 2010 at 5:20pm
It's not that I have a problem with disclosure. I have a problem with the scare tactic wording of "may contain 3.5x the daily toxic does of mercury exposure for a 148lb adult" that statement isn't designed to inform; it's designed to frighten uninformed people.

It's not that I think thimerosal is 100% safe, obviously that isn't the case, either. But I think forcing the disclosure that a vaccine contains thimerosal is enough, without the scare tactic language. There are thimerosal free versions of every vaccine I can think of, and every health provider *I* see already discloses and offers a thimerosal free version when applicable. For more info on thimerosal in vaccines, see the FDA website at

If the referendum didn't seem to be written by people more intent on fear mongering than actual disclosure, I might support it. But I hate fear mongering tactics like this and I won't support them. If they are that bent on warning people about mercury, they should start with fish labeling at supermarkets. You think the mercury levels in *vaccines* are bad?


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