Vaccine Mercury Ruled Out as Autism Cause: Study

Rates continued to climb even after most mercury was eliminated
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2008 5:45 AM CST
Actress Jenny McCarthy, left, and son Evan Asher, right, pose at the kidsLA Magazine launch event benefiting 'Talk About Curing Autism' in Los Angeles, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mercury in vaccines, long suspected as a cause of autism, has been ruled out in a new study of children suffering from the brain disorder.  Most mercury was removed from the vaccine preservative thimerosal  in 2001—but instead of autism rates falling, they continued to rise in California, according to the study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"Autism did not occur through immunizations," said one physician, who encouraged parents to vaccinate their children and avoid unproven and dangerous "treatments" for autism. What causes autism remains a mystery, and researchers urged a continued search for risk factors. As many as 1.5 million people in the US suffer from some form of the socially isolating disorder.