Photo via Flickr user Joe Loong
By Stefan Sirucek
Whether you have AIDS, malaria, cancer, or autism, there is a product sold on the internet that claims it can cure you. That product, called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), sounds a lot like other pseudoscientific remedies—but unlike many suspect forms of new age medicine that are scientifically unproven but benign, MMS can actively harm you in serious ways. That’s because it’s a solution of 28 percent sodium chlorite which, when mixed with citric acid as instructed, forms chlorine dioxide (ClO2), a potent form of bleach used in industrial pulp and textile bleaching.
Obviously, this is not exactly something you want to put in your body. And yet some parents are giving this dangerous substance to their children, both orally and through enemas, in the belief that it will cure their child of autism.
The FDA has been aware of MMS for some time; in 2010 it issued a warning that the product turns into “a potent bleach” that “can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration” if ingested. There are reports of at least one possible death from MMS use, and in January children were removed from a home in Arkansas on the suspicion that parents were giving them the solution in some form. Media investigations have shown that the substance will quickly bleach cloth, leading one scientist to tell North Carolina’s WFMY News that she would only use it to clean her shower.
Nevertheless, there are a number of people who are convinced that using Miracle Mineral Solution—also known as following the “CD Protocol” (CD stands for chlorine dioxide)—will cure whatever ails them. They believe that it works by clearing the body of mystery parasites known as “rope worms” and other pathogens that they believe cause autism (this theory, to be clear, is wholly unsupported by medical science). And it’s not just autism. MMS is marketed as a classic cure-all, purported to treat everything from diabetes to malaria to Ebola to AIDS. There’s even a pseudo-Wikipedia where you can look up which “protocol” to follow to cure any illness, whether the complaint is baldness or brain cancer.
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