Preventing Methyl Mercury Poisoning by Eating Fewer Cans of Tuna Each Week
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Preventing Methyl Mercury Poisoning by Eating Fewer Cans of Tuna Each Week

Due to various forms of pollution such as volcanoes and coal fired power plants methyl mercury has found its way into large bodies of water and is polluting the fish by the billions. Sadly, human beings consume these fish as part as a regular diet causing them to run a very high risk of accidental mercury poisoning.

Every year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conduct tests in order to ensure that the general population remains safe against possible outbreaks or harmful products that could exist within crops, vegetation, drinking water, and even the fish that are consumed and swim in most of that water.  One specific test that is conducted by the EPA and FDA is measuring the levels of mercury that may exist inside canned tuna.  The reason for this is methyl mercury accumulates in tuna as well as many other different types of fish from coal fired power plants, volcanoes, and various other forms of pollution.  Once the mercury becomes contaminated inside the tuna, and other fish, then it becomes extremely toxic and is harmful for the fish and if consumed.  This has been going on for the past few decades now that the EPA and FDA take extra precautions in order to keep the public informed.       

Although there is no real imminent danger tests are conducted annually nevertheless.  However it has been said that problems may occur if tuna is consumed in high quantities.  This could range to just a few cans in a single week.  This is because the average can of tuna consists of 0.427 parts per million (PPM) of mercury with the lowest ranging from 0.018 PPM to the highest ranging up to 0.774 PPM.  If a single can of tuna tested by either the EPA or the FDA reaches above 1PPM however, than the cans are immediately recalled in order to prevent the public from becoming ill or worse. 

It is advisable for children to eat as few cans of tuna as possible throughout the week in order to prevent accidental mercury poisoning.  As well as it is advisable for pregnant woman to stay away from canned tuna entirely.  This is because too much mercury could prove to be harmful to the development process of a child within the womb. 

Although tuna is a great way for the body to receive omega 3’s, which are much needed for joint health, there is a supplemental gel capsule available at most nutritional retail stores.  This is a great option for pregnant women to still receive their omega 3’s without having to run the risk of consuming tuna and harming an unborn child.  As well as children will benefit greatly from fewer cans of tuna each week and instead take a daily vitamin with an omega 3. 


“Mercury in Tuna Still a Concern, Consumer Report Says.” By Kathleen Doheny

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Comments (3)

This is a really great piece of work. 

I stopped eating Tuna years ago, because of this and ethical reasons (over fishing, as well as the fact that the tuna fish wanted to live too). It is also very bad for pets and should never be fed to cats.

It's seems hard to find out the truth about tuna and levels of mercury. According to the FDA it is safe for most people to eat tuna, and I think the AHA recommends eating tuna in limited amounts. However, environmental groups tell a different story.