Concern over the accumulation of mercury in fish pops up in the media from time to time. I’ve managed to ignore it, thinking that it is only one of the many environmental contaminates that I am exposed to on a daily basis and I can’t worry about everything.
Well, I’m finally paying attention. I shudder to think how much mercury I’ve consumed by eating fresh ahi two or three times a week. Canned light tuna was previously thought to be relatively safe…
Newly released government data provide the best evidence to date that some cans of light tuna – one of America’s favorite seafoods – contain high levels of the toxic metal mercury.
Testing by the Food and Drug Administration found that 6 percent of canned light tuna samples contained large amounts of mercury, which can cause learning disabilities in children and neurological problems in adults.
The government has stated that canned light tuna is low in mercury and a good choice for pregnant women and young children.
The FDA also found high mercury levels in samples of Chilean sea bass, which is often sold in high-end restaurants. Previously, the FDA had tested only one sample.
And high levels were detected in big-eye tuna, a species often sold as ahi tuna and served in sushi.
No federal warnings exist for either fish, although the average mercury level found in the FDA tests was above the average in albacore tuna, which the government tells pregnant women and young children to limit eating.
FDA tests find high mercury in light tuna cans – baltimoresun.com
If you want to find out how much mercury you might be eating, here’s a calculator…
And if you are really curious, you can get yourself tested and help out a Greenpeace study on mercury exposure at the same time.
You can order testing through the Sierra Club for $25. They give you the results and also add them to the Greenpeace database.
Sierra Club – Mercury – Get Tested!
Mercury levels in your body will drop if you stop or decrease your consumption, so you can do something about it if you have a high level.