Church's 'miracle' cure for autism is actually poisonous chemical

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A so-called "miracle" treatment that claims to cure autism has been making the rounds online for years now.

But experts say the mixture is actually a form of industrial bleach, and it can cause serious health problems if ingested.

"The fact that anyone would suggest that you should give this to somebody is ridiculous. This is scary, dangerous stuff," Dr. Paul Wang, senior vice president of Autism Speaks, told ABC.

The treatment is commonly known as Miracle Mineral Solution, Master Mineral Solution or MMS.

Its main promoter is the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, an organization that claims to be a "non-religious" online church.

The Genesis II Church urges its followers to take MMS — either orally or through enemas — to treat autism and a slew of other ailments, including cancer, acne, hepatitis and AIDS.

SEE MORE: This Commonly Prescribed Drug Could Help Treat Autism

But health officials around the world have found the mixture contains sodium chlorite, a chemical that's primarily used as a bleaching agent and disinfectant.

See images from World Autism Awareness Day:

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World Autism Awareness Day 2016
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World Autism Awareness Day 2016
NETTUNO, ITALY - APRIL 02: General view during the World Landmarks Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. Major landmarks around the world are Lighting It Up Blue on April 1 and 2 to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day at Forte Sangallo on April 02, 2016 in Nettuno, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
NETTUNO, ITALY - APRIL 02: General view during the World Landmarks Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. Major landmarks around the world are Lighting It Up Blue on April 1 and 2 to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day at Forte Sangallo on April 02, 2016 in Nettuno, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
NETTUNO, ITALY - APRIL 02: Forte Sangallo is illuminated in blue during the World Landmarks Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. Major landmarks around the world are Lighting It Up Blue on April 1 and 2 to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day on April 02, 2016 in Nettuno, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
NETTUNO, ITALY - APRIL 02: Forte Sangallo during the World Landmarks Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. Major landmarks around the world are Lighting It Up Blue on April 1 and 2 to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day on April 02, 2016 in Nettuno, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
NETTUNO, ITALY - APRIL 02: General view during the World Landmarks Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. Major landmarks around the world are Lighting It Up Blue on April 1 and 2 to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day on April 02, 2016 in Nettuno, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
NETTUNO, ITALY - APRIL 02: General view during the World Landmarks Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. Major landmarks around the world are Lighting It Up Blue on April 1 and 2 to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day at Forte Sangallo on April 02, 2016 in Nettuno, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
NETTUNO, ITALY - APRIL 02: General view during the World Landmarks Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. Major landmarks around the world are Lighting It Up Blue on April 1 and 2 to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day at Forte Sangallo on April 02, 2016 in Nettuno, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - APRIL 02: The Burj Khalifa joins other world landmarks as they Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day 2016 on April 2, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Major landmarks around the world are Lighting It Up Blue on April 1 and 2 to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
PETRA, JORDAN- APRIL 2: The Al-Khazneh, or the Treasury, is illuminated in blue on April 2, 2016 in Petra, Jordan. Major landmarks around the world will be illuminated in blue for the 'Lighting It Up Blue' campaign on April 1st and 2nd to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day. (Photo by Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 2: The Sydney Opera House was lit up in blue to mark the ninth annual United Nations World Autism Awareness Day. (Photo by Richard Milnes/Corbis via Getty Images)
NETTUNO, ITALY - APRIL 02: General view during the World Landmarks Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. Major landmarks around the world are Lighting It Up Blue on April 1 and 2 to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day at Forte Sangallo on April 02, 2016 in Nettuno, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
MAKASSAR, SOUTH SULAWESI, INDONESIA - 2016/04/02: Autistic kids hold spoons in their mouth during a game at Tempat Pelatihan Harapan (Training of Hope Centre). The Training of Hope held several activities to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day. Autism awareness in Indonesia has risen due to the effort of tireless activists to inform people about autism. Parents of autistic children in Indonesia now do not see autism as a mental disorder and choose to send their children to the autism center. (Photo by Yermia Riezky Santiago/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MAKASSAR, SOUTH SULAWESI, INDONESIA - 2016/04/02: Autistic kids hold a rope outside of Tempat Pelatihan Harapan (Training of Hope Centre). The Training of Hope held several activities to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day. Autism awareness in Indonesia has risen due to the effort of tireless activists to inform people about autism. Parents of autistic children in Indonesia now do not see autism as a mental disorder and choose to send their children to the autism center. (Photo by Yermia Riezky Santiago/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MAKASSAR, SOUTH SULAWESI, INDONESIA - 2016/04/02: An autistic boy performs his talent during a therapy session at Tempat Pelatihan Harapan (Training of Hope Centre). The Training of Hope held several activities to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day. Autism awareness in Indonesia has risen due to the effort of tireless activists to inform people about autism. Parents of autistic children in Indonesia now do not see autism as a mental disorder and choose to send their children to the autism center. (Photo by Yermia Riezky Santiago/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PETRA, JORDAN- APRIL 2: A visitor poses in front of the Al-Khazneh, or the Treasury, illuminated in blue on April 2, 2016 in Petra, Jordan. Major landmarks around the world will be illuminated in blue for the 'Lighting It Up Blue' campaign on April 1st and 2nd to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for World Autism Awareness Day. (Photo by Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images for Autism Speaks)
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Ingesting the recommended dosage of MMS can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, among other dangerous health problems. The Genesis II Church claims these side effects are a sign that the "cure" is working.

But experts say it's torturing children with autism, who often have trouble communicating when something is hurting them.

"Families are very vulnerable often straight after diagnosis, and what they need is support and advice. There is no evidence that this substance is helpful at all," Carol Povey of the National Autistic Society told the BBC.

Health officials are urging anyone who has used MMS to contact a health care professional immediately.

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