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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."
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.
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.
July 15, 2013 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
Comedienne turned Playboy centerfold turned autism advocate Jenny McCarthy may not have a medical degree like Dr. Mehmet Oz. But she has publicly embraced some medical opinions that are even more flimsily supported by scientific evidence than some of those espoused by her TV colleague. And now that McCarthy has got a seat on "The View," she'll have a similarly vast audience to misinform. When she's not holding forth on sex -- and let's face it, McCarthy's probably no less qualified than many others to speak expertly on the subject -- McCarthy portrays herself as an expert on the subject of autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder with which her 11-year-old son, Evan, was diagnosed in 2005.
February 5, 2010 | By Michael Fumento
The doctor who launched the modern anti-vaccine movement acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly," Britain's General Medical Council has ruled. But fear not. Dr. Andrew Wakefield is still a hero to his many acolytes. And others, with curious credentials, fight on to terrify parents into not getting their children inoculated. In 1998, Wakefield wrote and then vociferously hawked an article in the British medical journal Lancet linking autism to the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella)
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.
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