does mercury do and how does it get into fish?|
It's a neurotoxin like lead. Fetuses, infants and young children,
whose brains and nervous systems are rapidly developing, are at greatest
risk of harm from neurotoxins. The more mercury that gets into a person's
body, the longer the exposure time, the younger the person, the more
severe the effects are likely to be. Mercury occurs naturally in the
environment, but fossil fuels, especially coal, that are burned in
power plants to make electricity, along with some bacteria, creates
methymercury from the chemical transformation it undergoes. Through
rain, snow, and runoff, methylmercury accumulates in various bodies
of water and is absorbed by fish. Larger fish have more mercury because
they feed on other fish that have accumulated mercury and live longer
and so they accumulate more mercury.
the facts on farmed fish?
Well, many farmed fish are OK and the link below will set you straight
on which are. But, farmed fish, particularly salmon, are a definite
No-No. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), banned in the U.S. since
1977 and members of a class of chemicals known as persistent organic
pollutants, or POPs, were found at far higher levels in farmed than
in wild salmon, according to a study released in January 2004. POPs
accumulate in animal fat and rise in the food chain, so that large
predator fish will generally contain higher amounts. Because farmed
salmon are raised on feed that can include ground-up animals and
fish, their bodies accumulate these pollutants. Other POPs found
in fish include the organochlorine pesticide dieldrin and dioxins
~ the result of chlorine paper bleaching and manufacturing and incineration
of PVC plastic.
which are neurotoxins, hormone disrupters and probable carcinogens,
were found at levels seven times higher in farmed than in wild salmon.
PCBs are also found at high levels in fish from polluted water bodies,
varying from locale to locale; state health advisories list which
fish should not be consumed by children, pregnant or nursing women,
and women of childbearing age.
visit the greenguide's best fish picks.
This is an updated list of Yes Fish, Sometimes Fish, and No Fish.
Unfortunately, Sardines are Yes Fish and Bluefin Tuna are No Fish.
However, Squid (I know you all like fried or, more healthier, grilled
calamari) is a Yes Fish! Pregnant women and children really need
to be aware of just how much fish they eat each month. Fish lowest
in mercury include: wild salmon, sardines, squid, Arctic char, Atlantic
summer flounder (flukes), Pacific flounder, sanddabs, and scallops
(these last three should be eaten once per month due to habitat
damage or to allow their population to recover). Fish highest in
mercury levels include King Mackerel, Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish,
and Tuna-fresh or frozen. Canned Tuna isn't as bad because they
tend to be the smaller tuna. "chunk light" or "chunk"
can come from different types of the smaller tuna and is the best
Here is a handy national seafood guide to keep in your wallet from the Monterey Bay Aquarium:
Low res version for viewing or High res version for printing