The tuna sandwich is a lunchbox staple. But several species of tuna — like other large ocean fish — contain higher-than-average amounts of mercury, a highly toxic metal that can cause severe health effects. This is of particular concern for young children, since their nervous system, brain, heart, kidneys and lungs are all susceptible to the harmful effects of mercury.
This has long been a concern, because many fish contain measurable levels of mercury, which can cause profound neurological disease and death if consumed in sufficient amounts. Mercury dumping has been a problem in the United States, too. Mercury can also take a less direct route to the sea.
Jump to navigation. By Peter Montague A fight is shaping up over the amount of toxic mercury that the US government will call "safe" in the human diet. The outcome will determine how strictly the government will control mercury emissions from incinerators.
I keep reading about health benefits of eating fish, but I've also heard that fish contain high levels of mercury. Should I be concerned? Most men do not need to worry about mercury exposure from eating fish.
One-quarter of adult New Yorkers, roughly 1. The survey, part of a comprehensive study of the health of city residents, found that blood mercury levels were highest among Asians, women and higher-income New Yorkers. The elevated mercury levels that were found pose little, if any, health risk for adults, but may increase the risk of neurological damage in fetuses and infants whose mothers pass on the mercury through their bloodstreams during pregnancy or through breast milk.
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Mercury is an element and a metal that is found in air, water, and soil. It exists in three forms that have different properties, usage, and toxicity. The three forms are called elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds.
What is a safe amount of fish to eat per week for an adult female past pregnancy age and male in regard to mercury levels? Heavier people -- both men and women -- can tolerate more mercury than thinner people, according to the World Health Organization. Some general guidelines by the U. Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration are that shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish have the highest levels of mercury, and that pregnant women and children should avoid them.