84% of the Fish We Eat Contains Unsafe Mercury Levels

Specialists advise people to only eat certain kinds of fish once every few weeks

The Biodiversity Research Institute in Maine has recently issued a new report stating that, according to some of its most recent investigations, as much as 84% of the fish people buy and/or consume on a regular basis is tainted with unsafe levels of mercury.

As the specialists who investigated this issue explain, mercury pollution is now affecting aquatic wildlife in both marine and freshwater ecosystems worldwide.

This is because, once it makes its way into various natural ecosystems, run-off-the-mill mercury is processed by several microorganisms that turn it into methylmercury, which happens to be a chemical compound readily absorbed by the bodies of living organisms.

“Fish samples from around the world regularly demonstrate mercury concentrations exceeding US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) human health advisory guidelines,” the report reads.

Furthermore, “In the study, from 43 up to 100 percent of fish samples from 9 countries exceeded safe consumption of one fish meal of 170 grams (6 ounces per month). Mercury concentrations in fish from sites in Japan and Uruguay were so high no consumption is recommended.”

Sources report that, given the findings of this investigation, people are asked not to eat fish species such as tuna and swordfish, which are known to contain the highest concentration of toxic mercury, more than once every few weeks.

Otherwise, they run the risk of having this chemical compound accumulate in their body and cause long-term brain and kidney problems.

As explained in the research, “The dangers of mercury poisoning have been known for centuries. Exposure to high levels of mercury can permanently damage the brain and kidneys. Harmful effects are also passed from a mother to her developing fetus and can result in brain damage, mental retardation, blindness, seizures and an inability to speak.”

It is to be expected that this week's United Nations conference in Geneva will address the issue of global mercury pollution and its impact on public health worldwide.

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