More and more often, we are hearing about mercury in our fish, and doctors keep suggesting to us, that consuming fish may expose us to mercury in unhealthy levels.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that:

People in the U.S. are mainly exposed to methylmercury, an organic compound, when they eat fish and shellfish that contain methylmercury… the chemical form of mercury (methylmercury is more toxic than elemental mercury)

An organization called “Defenders of Wildlife” have done a study which states that:

The overall average of all 164 cans tested—albacore and light tuna combined—was 0.285 parts per million (ppm), more than twice the FDA’s cutoff for “low-mercury” fish.

And, the way that mercury gets into our fish is:

This problem is the result of harmful environmental policies around the world that allow polluters to release toxic mercury into the air, which eventually finds its way into our waters and ultimately our fish

According to the EPA health effects of persons exposed to mercury found in fish products include:

For fetuses, infants, and children, the primary health effect of methylmercury is impaired neurological development. Methylmercury exposure in the womb, which can result from a mother’s consumption of fish and shellfish that contain methylmercury, can adversely affect a baby’s growing brain and nervous system. Impacts on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills have been seen in children exposed to methylmercury in the womb.

According to the National Autistic Society:

The role of mercury as a major possible cause of autism has come to light only in the last 18 months after it was realised that the amount of mercury preservative in many vaccines was well in excess of recommended safety standards

The Environmental Working Group has stated that one out of six children born in the US have been exposed to methyl mercury:

The principal source of high fetal methyl mercury exposure is maternal consumption of contaminated seafood, primarily canned tuna.

The advisory, however, provides no consumption advice for a number of fish where high mercury levels are a concern, including tuna steaks, sea bass, halibut, and many others.

People, especially pregnant women and children should cut down consumption of tuna and other fishes.

Heather Kuhn is an author who blogs at Todays News and the Blogger News Network

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