Scientists Link Mercury-based Preservative in Childhood Vaccines to Autism

Inside the June 10, 2004 issue of Belfast Telegraph documented that scientists link preservatives in child vaccines to autism. The study showed that a mercury-based preservative (thimerosal) found in some childhood vaccines appear to be linked with autism-like damage in the brains of mice. The latest study, printed in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry, found that mice susceptible to autoimmune disease which were exposed to low doses of ethylmercury showed behavioral and neurological changes in the brain.

The scientists for this study performed their investigation at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and said that exposure to thimerosal in their animal model affected the behavior of the genetically susceptible mice, causing abnormalities in the brain and increased its size. The team, led by Dr. Mady Hornig, also stated that over the past 20 years there had been a "striking increase", at least 10-fold since 1985 - in the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

This recent study come on the heels of another report in which the Institute of Medicine (IOM) stated that there was no link between thimerosal and autism. Barbara Loe Fisher president of the National Vaccine Information Center was quick to criticize the IOM report by saying, "This report is a case of political immunology masquerading as real science. With it, the Institute of Medicine takes a step toward weakening its reputation as an independent body capable of making an objective scientific analysis of complex medical risk issues which are influenced by government policy and industry profits."


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