The House Health Committee approved a bill last week that would restrict the use of vaccines that contain a mercury-based preservative. The measure also would prohibit administering flu vaccines containing thimerosal to children ages 6 months to 35 months and pregnant women. Thimerosal is currently at the center of a nationwide debate concerning the safety and possible side effects of such vaccines. Parents of some autistic children and some researchers argue that vaccinations that contain thimerosal are the cause of developmental disabilities in children. State officials and some doctors have argued that no conclusive evidence that exposure to thimerosal is harmful. The bill now goes to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.