iPods Cause Autism With Non-Existent Mercury?

from the oh-come-on dept

Rajesh writes “So you have covered iPods causing car crashes, people to be struck by lightning, and other fatalities. And now a scientist claims that iPods cause autism! From The Express in UK: “THE huge rise of autism in Britain is linked to old iPod batteries, mobile phones and other products of the electronic age, a leading scientist claimed this weekend.” “If they are buried in landfill, the mercury in the batteries leaks out when it rains, and if they are burned it goes straight up into the atmosphere.” Interesting! Considering all iPods are alkaline- and lithium-based batteries that do not contain lead, mercury, or cadmium (from Apple.com).” There have been plenty of stories in the past about the possible connection between mercury and autism, so that’s not surprising. But the headline and the opening of that article clearly try to pin the rise in autism (which has gone on for many years) with the iPod, which has been around for less than five years. The article does mention other types of batteries as well, such as mobile phones and computers — but it seems like a bit of a stretch to blame iPods.

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Comments on “iPods Cause Autism With Non-Existent Mercury?”

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ananymous says:

Re: That's it, I'm tossing my iPod in the trash!

don’t believe in this shit man, autism came earlier before the ipods were released. Don’t believe this shit. The media and THIS ARTICLE is trying to brainwash you so that you would believe their story. this is a non-conspiracy theory and this is just some shit that is like a virus spreading through the media. JUST DONT BELIEVE IN THAT CRAP!!!

Paid to much to throw it away says:

thank you!

Well I just want to say thank you MissingFrame for throwing your Ipod away. You have not only greatly helped keep our atmosphere safe, but also have saved your child from obtaining such a terrible thing like autism. I read an article somewhere comparing Ipods to Satan, its really quite convincing. Anyways, im gonna get back to my solidary bubble that effectively shields me and my family from all hazardous risks over .0753%.

claire rand says:

Re: Re: Hmm, that explains it

speaking as a brit i think its funny.

mind you maybe we’re to daft not to see the humour, either that or are too busy learning to count to eleven on our toes to bother.

btw were are you from?

i only ask cus normally people who complain this sort of thing is ‘offensive’ are not part of the group thats meant to be offended.

naturally i could well be wrong, but then i am british after all…

Sam Clarke says:

Re: Hmm, that explains it

An increase in stupidity over here!!!! That may be true, but it’s highly unlikley that we will ever get close to you lot! Try looking in the mirror, or even at your TV, your president is probably the most stupid bloke the world has ever know!!!!

Just out of interest what is wrong with banning items that use 3/4 quaters of the amount of energy when they are on standby as when they are turned on??? What sort of STUIPID comment is that??? Lets all waste energy by leaving items on standyby, that way, the planets natural resources will run out quicker, so then we wont have any power!!! Mind you, atleast I wont have to read comments like this again, might be a bonus. Or maybe you were trying to be funny, by adding what could only be described as a idiotic, ill thought through comment. Unfortunatly, it wasn’t funny, just typical American nonesense, now get back to your trailer park, and try reading up on things before you put your brain cell into gear!!!

Not suprised president ‘brains’ didn’t sign up to the Kyoto agreement, your all to self obcessed with eating crap whilst watching your waist lines increase (instead of watching TV because it’s on standy!!)

Jimbo says:

You Lose!

We are all damned to hell. If you use them, you will get killed (lightning, traffic accident, walking in front of a train, etc.) If you throw it away, you give your kids autism.

I guess the best solution is to place them all in a rocket ship and launch them into the sun. (Or just bury them along with all of the nuclear waste under a couple of feet of dirt… (not literally.)

Lay person says:

Re: hmmm

Yup, Autism is a genetic defect, at least one parent must carry that defect. Who’s at fault? Both parents–the noncarrier for procreating with a carrier and the carrier is to blame for either not knowing she carried the potential or not caring.

Either way, it’s the truth. Sometimes the truth is bitter and readingf all these responses at times is bitter as well.

Sorry, for all looking for some sugar all I do is state the facts.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: hmmm

Actually autism is more likely when both parents are highly intellegent. There has been a large number of autism cases reported in places like Silicon Valley and other tech communities.

( http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html )

And the editors of Wired magazine obviously never took an epidemiology course before. In reality, places with good programs for autistic children tend to attract more autistic families. High tech communities tend to have good medical centers.

Sudden spikes in the reported incidence of other diseases have happened many times before, whenever new requirements to report the condition were instituted, a change in diagnostic guidelines occurred, or more reliable lab tests became available. This happened twice to the incidence of Lyme Disease, when the disease received a reporting requirement in the early 90s, then a reliable lab test became available in 1997. There is no “Lyme Disease holocaust”, despite the claims of activists.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re: hmmm

Oh and, we learned another interesting case study today of failed research findings. In the late 1990s, a provocative paper claimed that babies who grew up in rooms with night lights were going blind, because the light was impairing the development of their optic nerves. Follow-up research discovered that parents with poor vision tend to have children with poor vision, and parents install the night lights so they won’t trip over things.

Aaron Friel says:

Mike Harty

That’s a fairly ‘stupid’ viewpoint you purport, there, Harty. Have you considered that perhaps you were the result of two generally stupid people mating?

I feel free to attack you, however, on the grounds that you believe autistics are simply stupid and/or the result of stupid people having children.

Q says:

My guess is this….

The scientist(s) came across data that MIGHT support the mecury (and other stuff they listed) MIGHT cause autism, so they did their little research and found that hey, it might but funds were getting low. They published this report and said ‘ipod’ and ‘cellphone’ was the cause because they know how people get all worked up about that (cellphone causing deaths, Ipods causing deaths, we’ve all read it here before) and in hopes, people would donate money to their research.

Anonymous Coward says:

look up thimerosal

this stuff is a mercury based preservative for vaccines they give to children

it is the cause of the spike in autism in the US. not sure how things are done overseas

weve been pumping infants and children with autism causing mercury for decades, even more so in the early 90s, before the 1930s before they started using thimerosal there was so no autism, if it occured at all it was so uncommon they didnt have a name for it

dorpus says:

Re: look up thimerosal

Yeah, that old urban legend. Truth is, in places where they discontinued thimerosal usage in vaccines, no change in the incidence of autism was observed. There have also been no spikes observed in developing countries where infants were given thimerosal-containing vaccines. The whole notion of thimerosal causing autism was started by a poorly written paper in which British researchers examined the records of 12 autistic babies, discovered that 8 of them had received vaccinations, and therefore that the vaccines must have caused autism. (Never mind that most babies receive vaccinations to begin with.)

That hasn’t stopped a multi-billion dollar industry from developing, telling parents of autistics what they want to hear about “vast industrial conspiracies” or whatever.

We have pretty strong evidence for the genetic basis of autism. There are also some promising leads linking the use of beta-adregernic (anti-asthma, labor postponing) drugs in expecting mothers to an increased risk of autism.

WirelessGuy says:

So owning one isn't bad, just don't throw it away

I guess I am missing the point, but you can own all these things and they are safe, just if you put a LiIon battery in the trash that ends up in the landfill it will grow mercury?????

I do think it is important to recycle your LiIon batteries. At least they didn’t talk about the actual hazard of these things exploding in people’s faces.


Retards and IPODS

I don’t think that it is the IPOD that causes people to be retarded. I think a majority of people who buy IPODS are retarded. It seems to be an easy mistake to make, so I don’t blame the article. If you look around and see people who are using IPODS you notice that 9 out of 10 look retarded.

It might be the chicken and the egg thing. Which came first the IPOD or the retard? Sometimes it is just too hard to tell.

Anonymous Coward says:

Forgive me if the point was already made, but the guy has a point, and people are focusing too much on the ipod. For years, alkaline batteries had mercury in them, only in the last few years have we seen mercury and cadmium-free versions. Major recycling programs are in place for nicads, but they and other rechargables do much to reduce overall toxics since they are disposed of so much less often. I’m glad to see NiMH making inroads on store shelves. They are ideal when long waits for use are not anticipated, as in MP3s. I prefer Lithiums when long standby use is expected, like the flashlight in the glovebox, or the emergency radio in the cupboard.

Causation says:


Statistics do not prove causation. They can show a link in trends. If they were going to the stretch of saying that the rise of iPods caused a rise in Autism, they could easily turn it around and say that the rise in Autism caused the rise in iPods. Maybe Autistic kids actually needed that new iPod or something?

It’s great to see how statistics are being misused. That course last year really did open my eyes to the bullshit 😛

Kay says:


Since when did being stupid get linked with autism? Last time I looked many of those who have an ASD still had great cognitive ability. Aspies are believed to be highly intelligent, so I suggest if you think you’re in a position to joke about something, you go look at the little pockets of known information on autism.

BTW those that say its just genes – not known. So again you’re not speaking in facts, just theories and studies. We still know very little about the brain and considering that it is widely accepted that is it a neurological disorder, we need to fully understand the brain to fully understand autism.

As an Aspie myself, it’s not all gloom and doom. There are also many positives, but of course you wouldn’t know that if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Which is what it seems like by most of the comments here.

So I suggest before you go throwing your gadgets away, actually find out about Autism.

m says:

Thimerosol/Autism link

Removing mercury from the MMR is a great step, but it is still in so many immunizations and drugs — it’s even in most eye drops! — that that step in of itself is unlikely to make a huge dent, at least not overnight.

And to whoever called the whole anti-immunization movement a “multi-billion dollar industry” is totally off their rocker. Vaccinations are a huge profit-maker for drug companies. Parents who do not vaccinate (or, more commonly, delay vaccination) just take their $$ away from Big Pharma; they don’t put it elsewhere. How does not vaccinating equal a multi-billion dollar business? More like, it takes a good potshot at one.

Heather says:

Doubt the Autism fact

Hello, I wanted to just say if your kids are fine by a certain age, I highly doubt that they will receive Autism by mercury. I have been working in this field (Autism) for the past 3 years and mercury doesn’t have me convinced. There are pro’s and con’s to every scientist/researcher’s theory. Until more proof can be provided about mercury I might start believing it then but as for right now it’s debateable.

Autism does not have to mean bad. Children with Autism can still go to school and do things as us typical people but just in a different way. In face most of my clients are happy, wouldn’t you want to be happy for the majority of the day? Don’t always look at a disability as negative!

heather says:

Reply to look up thimerosal

Hi just wanted to inform you that even though Autism did not exist much before 1930’s doesn’t mean it wasn’t real or it wasn’t there. You know the line that goes like “you never know what goes on behind those doors?” People were to afraid to expose it out into the community that they probably feared their companions would look down on them. The main reason I believe, is that Autism is becoming more common is that it treatable. You are now able to learn with Autism and teach Autism with the help different thearists. You know just like once upon a time Learning Disorders were considered as STUPID but now it’s a well known fact that it is a genetic disorder and it can be worked with.

This comment right here is not directing just towards you but to the rest of the comments above. You people need to learn the facts on Autism before you start critizing it. You have NO idea until you have researched it, lived/dealt with it, seen the emotional sides of it etc. You know just don’t say anything at all if you can’t say something nice!!!!

Anonymous Coward says:


youre saying that Ipods causes mental retardation and make you become addicted to porn??? it depends on how long you listen to it you ASSHOLE, and who came up with this article? HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS RETARDED SHIT, HUH?? If you say autism was caused by ipods, YOURE MENTALLY IDIOTIC!!! IT’S LIKE YOURE A VIRUS WHO’s TELLING PEOPLE “DON’T BUY IPODS, THEY CAUSE BRAIN DAMAGE and AUTISM and they make you become ADDICTED TO PORN” and all these poor people who read this article is going to fuck and burn their ipods, decapitate it or whatever they’re doing to abuse it or other KINDS OF SHIT!!! YOU ARE an ABUSE to the APPLE COMPUTER HEADQUARTERS!!! Man, when the homies and hos find out about this they will complain in anger and probably they might wanna own you or get your ass PORNO CAUSES AUTISM(maybe or maybe not), NOT IPODS!!!


PS: THE COMMENT OF TRUTH: if you knew that this is a non-conspiracy theory, NEVER EVER post it before you HAVE THE RIGHT, PRECISE EVIDENCE!!! Just a quick reminder, ipods make ya crazy like, for example, it gives you aneurism, I believe, depending on what kind of music you listen to and what videos you look at!!

And another thing, autism came first before ipods were released! Are you that retarded or are you just the type of person who posts lies to the media and to the internet, or you just don’t get it at all? if ya don’t get it, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism and find out. Maybe this would’ve made you think that the article that you posted didn’t exist but YOU JUST DID BECAUSE YOU DONT THINK BEFORE YOU ACT! BESIDES, THIS ARTICLE IS JUST BIASED SHIT!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ADHD and autism

autism is less severe but ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is more severe and it could be affecting those who are autistic I believe. go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism to find out. maybe you will understand the difference. Generally, I can’t tell the difference

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