Exposure to vaccines containing the mercury-based preservative thimerosal does not impact the likelihood that a child will be diagnosed with autism, according to a new study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers reviewed medical records and conducted interviews to determine if 256 children with autism and 752 without received vaccines containing thimerosal in utero or as young children. They also tracked when the children, who were born between 1994 and 1999, received thimerosal and the size of the dose.

On average, the children with and without autism received similar levels of thimerosal. Accordingly, researchers found that the children who developed autism were no more likely to have received thimerosal or to have received it in a larger quantity than their typically developing counterparts.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The results affirm those of previous studies looking at a possible link between autism and vaccines. Despite a consensus within the scientific community that there is no connection, many parents continue to believe that the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine and/or the thimerosal included in some immunizations triggered their child’s autism.

Read more stories like this one. Sign up for Disability Scoop's free email newsletter to get the latest developmental disability news sent straight to your inbox.