YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsThimerosal


April 10, 2006 | Myron Levin, Times Staff Writer
As lawmakers in about 20 states press for bans on mercury in children's vaccines, they are meeting stiff resistance from influential health and medical organizations, including groups that get substantial funding from drug makers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seven states have adopted the anti-mercury bills -- California being one of the first.
January 8, 2008 | Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writer
The prevalence of autism in California children continued to rise after most vaccine manufacturers started to remove the mercury-based preservative thimerosal in 1999, suggesting that the chemical was not a primary cause of the disorder, according to a study released Monday. The analysis found that from 2004 to 2007, when exposure to thimerosal dropped significantly for 3 to 5 year olds, the autism rate continued to increase in that group from 3.0 to 4.1 per 1,000 children.
June 23, 2004 | Myron Levin, Times Staff Writer
A bill to ban mercury from vaccines administered to infants and pregnant women faces a key test today in the state Senate, where resistance by prominent physicians' groups appears to be weakening. The bill by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) would make it illegal to administer to expectant mothers or children younger than 3 shots containing more than trace amounts of thimerosal, a mercury-laced preservative used in some vaccines to prevent bacterial growth.
April 8, 2004
Chances are slim that a flu vaccine with a form of mercury in it will harm infants and toddlers. But enough concerns have been raised about the preservative thimerosal that drug companies voluntarily took it out of most other childhood vaccines. There's probably no need for immediate alarm, because the problem with other vaccines was the accumulation from several closely spaced injections.
March 7, 2005 | Myron Levin, Times Staff Writer
Drug maker Merck & Co. continued to supply infant vaccine containing a mercury-based preservative for two years after declaring that it had eliminated the chemical. In September 1999, amid rising concern about the risks of mercury in childhood vaccines, Merck announced that the Food and Drug Administration had approved a preservative-free version of its hepatitis B vaccine. "Now, Merck's infant vaccine line," the company's press release said, "is free of all preservatives."
January 31, 2008 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
New studies in infants show that the mercury used as a preservative in vaccines is cleared from the body at least 10 times faster than researchers had previously believed, a finding that casts further doubt on the theory that the preservative causes autism. Researchers had believed that the ethyl mercury in the preservative thimerosal is metabolized in much the same way as the methyl mercury found in fish and other sources.
February 8, 2005 | Myron Levin, Times Staff Writer
A memo from Merck & Co. shows that, nearly a decade before the first public disclosure, senior executives were concerned that infants were getting an elevated dose of mercury in vaccinations containing a widely used sterilizing agent. The March 1991 memo, obtained by The Times, said that 6-month-old children who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish.
May 19, 2004 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
A special panel of the National Academy of Sciences has concluded that vaccines do not cause autism and urged scientists to turn to other avenues of research in an effort to understand the reasons for the increased incidence of the devastating disability. Several well-designed studies have provided "overwhelming evidence" that neither the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine nor the thimerosal preservatives used in some vaccines are associated with autism, said the committee's chair, Dr.
April 13, 2004
Re "Truth Left Out of Vaccine," editorial, April 8: Withholding from parents valid information that may affect their children is not only stupid and unethical, it's counterproductive to public health. No wonder parents look to alternative and often misleading sources for data on vaccine safety. This may be one reason why parents are increasingly requesting exemptions from mandatory childhood vaccinations. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is really interested in disease control and prevention, it should tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
June 9, 2004 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
The mercury preservative used in some vaccines can cause behavioral abnormalities in newborn mice characteristic of autism, but only in mice with a specific genetic susceptibility, Columbia University researchers report today. The findings challenge the results of several large studies on autism and bolster the fears of parents who have long believed their children were harmed by the vaccines.
Los Angeles Times Articles