HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A documentary aimed at removing a preservative compound used in some vaccines administered in the United States premiered Wednesday in Hollywood before it goes on a nationwide tour.
"Trace Amounts" debuted at the TCL Chinese Theatre and is only playing in Los Angeles for one night.
In the film, director Eric Gladen delves into his experience with thimerosal, a mercury preservative commonly found in the flu vaccine and in very small amounts he claims are in other vaccines.
Gladen believes it was those preservatives from his tetanus vaccine that may have left him with neurological disorders associated with autism.
"Sensitivity to noise. Visual disturbances. I had muscles and nerves everywhere just kind of felt like they were really tense. Muscle twitching. Ticks," he recalls.
Gladen says he linked the symptoms to thimerosal in the vaccine and has been on a mission to rid all vaccines of the compound.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most vaccines, including the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, don't contain thimerosal, Gladen says his research proves otherwise.
"It's a lot safer, but there's still trace amounts in it," he said.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who wrote a book about the dangers of thimerosal, supports the film.
"The best thing we can do is get the thimerosal out of the vaccine and begin cleaning up CDC and restoring the public trust," Kennedy said.
But Charles Goodman, a Northridge pediatrician, says the public has no need to be concerned.
"Not getting a vaccine is a far bigger danger to your children and adults than thimerosal or potential thimerosal is," the doctor said.
Although Gladen wouldn't talk about autism in KCAL9/CBS2 reporter Andrea Fujii's interview, he says his movie proves that there is a link between thimerosal and neurological disorders. He hopes the CDC will listen.
"If we can take this step, it'll help reassure parents to restore some of their faith in the vaccine program," Gladen said.
The CDC told Fujii they cannot comment for this story.
"Trace Amounts" can be downloaded. Click here for more information.
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