Debunking Denialism

The Worst of the Autism Biomed Movement: Bleach, Castration and Death

Few things about quackery are more disgustingly horrible than when deluded parents (who hardly know anything about medicine or science) subject their children to dangerous substances that risks their health or even their life. It is understandable that parents who discover that their child has severe autism may become desperate and wants to do everything in their power to help. However, these people are also at their most vulnerable for being exploited by pseudoscientific nonsense and they can cause a lot of harm.

This article covers several of the most dangerous elements of the multi-million dollar industry known as the autism biomedical movement: chlorine dioxide bleach, chemical castration, hyperbaric oxygen chamber and chelation. Parents should never be allowed to sacrifice the health of innocent children for the benefit of pseudoscientific quackery.

Chlorine dioxide bleach

A very popular quack “treatment” for autism is known as miracle mineral solution. Do not be fooled by the name, it is nothing miraculous with it and it does not have any health benefits that the word mineral might suggest. It is based on an industrial bleach called chlorine dioxide that is used in pulp mills. Yes, that’s right; these quacks force bleach into the their autistic children, both orally and anally. Needless to say, this has no benefit and damages the child.

They will quickly try to defend this by saying that chlorine dioxide cannot be part of the chemical group know as chlorine bleaches since it is not exactly the same as household bleach (sodium hypochlorite). But a basic understanding of chemistry reveals that there chlorine bleach substance family has more than one member and that chlorine dioxide is bleach. Furthermore, the concentrations used by these quacks are 3000x higher than the maximum allowed concentration in drinking water.

Chemical Castration with Lupron

Other autism quacks, such as Mark and David Geier, inject autistic children with a drug called Lupron, which is a substance used to chemically castrate sex offenders. Their false belief is that the preservative thimerosal (which only occurs in some multi-dose preparations of influenza vaccines) binds to testosterone, and if you get rid of testosterone by chemical castration (called the Lupron Protocol), you will also get rid of thimerosal and thereby cure or treat autism.

Let us repeat that one more time: these quacks chemically castrate children with autism without any scientific evidence whatsoever that it works.

Hyperbaric oxygen chamber

If a diver ascends quickly, dissolved gases can form bubbles and harm various parts of the body (decompression sickness). To combat this, a person suffering from the symptoms of decompression sickness can be played in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. This is now rare to due to the development of decompression techniques used by divers.

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However, hyperbaric oxygen chambers have recently become very popular in alternative medicine circles where it promises, without any evidence whatsoever, to cure all kinds of conditions from HIV infection, cancer, depression, heart disease, injuries to the spinal cord and autism. The FDA has received around 30 complaints during the past three years and many more have probably not been reported.

Intravenous chelation with EDTA that have killed

Yet other autism quacks try to handle these alleged “heavy metal contamination” by injecting a chelating agent called ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). The medical use of EDTA is, among others, to sequester metal ions such as lead and mercury. However, since autism is not caused by heavy metal poisoning, this does not have any therapeutic effect whatsoever. However, it can have another dangerous effect: it can sequesters calcium ions that has a vital function in the human central nervous system and if strongly perturbed, this can cause death. This is mitigated by using CaEDTA, thereby replenishing the body with calcium at the same time.

Sadly, one cannot guarantee that quacks understand this simple chemistry fact. In an enormously tragic event in 2005, a child with autism was injected with Na2EDTA instead of CaEDTA and died as a result:

In August 2005, a boy aged 5 years with autism died while receiving IV chelation therapy with Na2EDTA in a physician’s office. During the chelation procedure, the mother noted that the child was limp. The physician initiated resuscitation, and an emergency services team transported the child to the hospital. At the emergency department (ED), further resuscitation was attempted, including administration of at least 1 and possibly 2 doses of IV calcium chloride. Subsequently, the boy’s blood calcium level was recorded in the ED as 6.9 mg/dL. The child did not regain consciousness. The coroner examination indicated cause of death as diffuse, acute cerebral hypoxic-ischemic injury, secondary to diffuse subendocardial necrosis. The myocardial necrosis resulted from hypocalcemia associated with administration of Na2EDTA.


Autism quackery is scientifically flawed and morally vile. Full stop. Remember this when people ask “what’s the harm?” with pseudoscientific quackery.

Severely autistic children cannot fend for themselves against their quacks parents. This is why we should spread information about how these so-called “treatments” are nothing but dangerous alternative medicine quackery that harms innocent children. If you come across any quack treatments offered against autism, file a report with the health authorities.