Over at Spiked, Michael Fitzpatrick weighs in on the increasingly popular theory that mercury in vaccines causes autism in children. In a review of David Kirby's new book, Evidence of Harm, Fitzpatrick–who is both a doctor and the parent of an autistic child–writes:
The so-called 'epidemic of autism', which some parents blame on vaccines, is better explained by the increased recognition of the condition among both parents and professionals and by the expansion of diagnostic categories. Though campaigners claim that the symptoms of mercury toxicity are similar to those of autism, on closer inspection, they are quite distinct. Mercury poisoning typically causes an unsteady gait and slurred speech, visual disturbances and numbness in fingers and toes. None of these features is characteristic of autism.
Whole thing here.