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Mercury Levels Among Women Climbing

At least a half-century ago, there was no healthier meat one could eat than fish. As companies started burning coal to make electricity, however, millions of tons of mercury were released into the atmosphere, tainting our water supplies, foods and bodies. A nationwide study, commissioned by Greenpeace, really hammered the dangers of mercury home.

Researchers found 21 percent of women of childbearing age have mercury levels in their hair that exceed federal health standards. That's an 8 percent jump from the last major national study conducted by CDC in 2000.

Tests showed a correlation between how much fish people ate and their mercury levels: A third of people who ate canned tuna four or more times a week, for example, had mercury levels above EPA recommendations.

Unfortunately, almost all fish, except for smaller varieties like sardines and anchovies, contain mercury that will absolutely compromise your health. It is my strong recommendation for you to avoid all fish, unless you are absolutely certain it has been tested in a laboratory and shown not to contain detectable levels of mercury and other toxins.

Because fish are also the best natural source for omega-3 fats, a critical component of an optimized diet, I highly recommend consumming a high quality fish oil daily.

Washington Post October 21, 2004

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