********* 9 Stars!
Price: US$ 20.00, Available worldwide on Amazon.com
Check Availability from:
Canada or from United Kingdom
The Cot Death Cover-Up?
by Dr Jim Sprott
THE COT DEATH COVER-UP? is the culmination of over fifteen years of cot death research by the author, a highly respected consulting chemist and forensic scientist from New Zealand.
In 1986 Sprott arrived at the conclusion that babies were succumbing to cot death because of inadvertent gaseous poisoning by an extremely toxic nerve gas generated by microbiological action on something within the baby's cot, but he wasn't able to identify the gas. Then in 1989 consulting scientist Barry Richardson, working independently in Britain came to the same conclusion and in addition identified the offending gases. It was not long before the two teamed-up to work on what they describe as the "Richardson Hypothesis".
According to Sprott the three identified gases that were generated from mattresses on which babies died of SIDS are "phosphine, arsine and stibine, all extremely toxic 'nerve gases'. They are produced by the action of the otherwise harmless fungus Scopulariopsis brevicaulis on substances containing phosphorus, arsenic and antimony. These elements are often present in cot and other mattresses." These odourless but intensely poisonous gases, with toxicities about 100 times as great as hydrogen cyanide (prussic acid), act upon the baby's nervous system to inhibit breathing and heart function.
The problem, in fact, has been first identified as far back as the 1880's when the mystery of thousands of unexpected child deaths throughout Western Europe and the UK was solved by Italian chemist Gosio. He had discovered that deaths were due to a toxic gas, arsine and/or alkyl homologues generated by the micro-organism Scopulariopsis brevicaulis (then known as Penicillium brevicaules). It acted upon copper arsenate, used in green pigments in wallpaper, and arsenious oxide, used as a preservative in wallpaper glue.
THE COT DEATH COVER-UP? contains ample evidence supporting Sprott and Richardson's findings. Among the many graphs it contains one that demonstrates the rapid drop in cot deaths in Britain in 1986-1994. The graph, based on official statistics, shows that when the findings were first made public in mid-1989 the SIDS rate started to fall immediately, dropping 35 per cent by the time the official "Back to Sleep" campaign was launched in December 1991. In the period 1989-1994, Britain saw a staggering 70 per cent reduction in the SIDS rate.
Despite these remarkable results, Sprott and Richardson were fiercely opposed by their respective country's health authorities and official SIDS groups. Their struggle for official recognition of their findings is reminiscent to that of other independent SIDS researchers such as Dr Archie Kalokerinos and Dr Glen Dettman, who had proved that severe depletion of a child's vitamin C level, precipitated by various insults including childhood vaccinations, could predispose it to SIDS.
The author says that the book is not aimed at academics (although its first-class material should suffice their snobbery), but is aimed at parents - parents who have to suffer the consequences of a system that puts them and their babies last in the "war" against this human tragedy known as SIDS.
Published in 1996 by Penguin Books (NZ). Available through most major bookstores.