Autism is triggered in children by mercury in a preservative that is used in vaccines — this is one theory about the cause of autism. Although never proven by any studies, the preservative in question, thimerosal, was removed from all childhood vaccinations in 2001. Now a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry concludes that exposure to mercury is not responsible for the increase in autistic cases. You can read more about the study in many recent news articles, including this one from the SF Chronicle.
What do you think? I know many parents do believe that vaccines can trigger autism. My personal opinion is that it is related to diet – see my past post Autism and diet – what’s the connection? And a related post that addresses the effects of the increase in processed food on our children – Why are food allergies on the rise? Whatever the cause, I hope that we as a society figure it out soon.