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Even Cicadas Found to be Full of Mercury

Think twice before you eat one of the Brood-X cicadas. That's the latest warning from researchers who have found surprising levels of mercury in these insects. The cicadas emerge once every 17 years, and their recent emergence throughout the Eastern United States has prompted a variety of sources to recommend eating them for an unusual delicacy. But researchers say they have found significant levels of mercury in some of the cicadas, with some of the levels reaching those in fish that have earned government warnings. Similar to the recent warnings on fish, the researchers have recommneded that humans, and particularly pregnant women and children, limit the amount of cicadas they eat due to mercury concerns. The next step is to determine if the mercury is natural to the cicadas, or if it is due to man-made pollution.

Science Daily June 1, 2004

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