The supposed link between autism and vaccine preservatives has been debated for at least a decade. The preservatives that supposedly led to autism have not been used in years, and autism rates show no signs of a decline. And yet these sorts of stories still get on TV where they inflame the guilt and remorse that families suffering from autism deal with on a daily basis.
I guess the writers strike must be over now? Or is this a recycled story from a decade ago?
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Tonight, ABC will air the first episode of a new legal drama called Eli Stone. And what better way to make a drama riveting than to suggest that a debunked theory about the cause of autism is actually true?
In the episode, a fictitious vaccine additive called mercuritol acts as a stand-in for the real thing â€” thimerosal, a preservative commonly used in childhood vaccines before 1999. In that year, the U.S. largely removed thimerosal from the market after concerns arose about the amount of mercury contained in it. High levels of mercury can lead to a wide array of health concerns, especially in infants and children.
There has been no proven scientific connection between thimerosal and autism, and since being pulled from the market in the U.S. autism rates have not significantly dropped. But that didnâ€™t stop the writers of the Eli Stone episode from suggesting otherwise and implicating the vaccine additive connection.