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More Warnings About Dangerous Levels of Mercury and PCBs in Fish

The Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals say children, pregnant women and women who are planning to become pregnant should strictly limit their intake of fish and avoid some types altogether to avoid potentially harmful levels of mercury and PCBs. This echos the warning I have been giving for years, and closely resemble recommendations issued in March by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the EPA. According to the group, the fish that women of reproductive age and children should never eat are:

  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • King mackerel

The guidelines also recommend that women of reproductive age and children should eat no more than one serving per week of fresh or canned albacore tuna, orange roughy, marlin, grouper and other types of fish. While fish can be a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, nearly all seafood contains traces of mercury and some high levels of PCBs. High levels of mercury in the bloodstream of fetuses and young children can impair development of the nervous system. Millions of women in American currently have levels of mercury in their blood considered unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency, and around 630,000 newborns are exposed every year to unsafe levels of the contaminant.

Yahoo! News June 24, 2004

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