Vaccine Ingredient Thimerosal Safe For Children, Study
A new study offers more proof that thimerosal -- a mercury-based preservative once used in many vaccines -- poses no threat to children's brains. There has been intense debate about whether thimerosal causes autism, a link repeatedly discounted in scientific studies.
The new study included 1,403 Italian children who were given vaccines in the early 1990s and underwent brain function tests 10 years later. Those tests showed no signs of problems and only one case of autism was identified, the Associated Press reported.
The findings appear in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics.
"Put together with the evidence of all the other studies, this tells us there is no reason to worry about the effect of thimerosal in vaccines," said lead author, Dr. Alberto Tozzi of Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome, the AP reported.
The study was welcomed by outside experts.
"It's yet another well-done, peer-reviewed research study that has demonstrated there is no risk of any neurodevelopmental outcomes associated with thimerosal in vaccines," University of Pennsylvania epidemiologist Jennifer Pinto-Martin told the AP.