Thread: Truth about Mercury
07-21-2003, 03:24 PM #1
I have been hearing a lot lately about dangerously high levels of Mercury in fish, especially canned tuna. Since I eat 2-4 cans ED I'm getting a little concerned. Mercury poisoning causes severe damage to the liver and can cause you to literally waste away.
below is some interesting reading....
Last edited by ripped4fsu; 07-21-2003 at 03:37 PM.
07-21-2003, 03:35 PM #2
For your reading pleasure
Nearly all fish contain trace amounts of methyl mercury, some more than others. In areas where there is industrial mercury pollution, mercury levels in the fish can be quite elevated. In general, however, methyl mercury levels for most fish are very low. However, certain species of very large tuna, typically sold as fresh steaks or sushi, can contain methyl mercury levels in excess of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) 1 part per million (ppm) limit. Canned tuna, composed of smaller species of tuna such as skipjack and albacore, has much lower levels of methyl mercury, averaging only about 0.17 ppm. Click here for more information.
“Experts theorize that albacore, because it is a short-lived species, would tend to have less mercury than bigger, longer-lived tuna such as Blue-fin or Big-eye Tuna. And, by the same theory, the younger and smaller the albacore, the better. For the tuna fan, perhaps the best approach is to buy quality, not quantity, a strategy that the current canned tuna wave encourages.” San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Dave’s Salmon and Albacore Results
We sent can samples of both our Gourmet Albacore Fillets and Wild King Chinook Salmon to The National Food Laboratory, Inc. in August, 2002. The salmon samples came back with results of less than one half of one tenth part per million (ppm). The Albacore samples returned results were of less than one third of one part per million (very trace amounts). This translates into negligible amounts –nearly non-detectable. These results are so far below the FDA’s 1 part per million limit, that it would take many cans consumed at one time to amount to this limit.
SPECIES MEAN (PPM) RANGE (PPM) NO. OF SAMPLES
Dave’s Gourmet Albacore 000.015 ND-000.031 10
Dave’s Wild King Salmon 000.013 ND-000.018 10
We do hope that this information is both helpful and reassuring. If you have additional questions, feel free to email us at email@example.com or call our customer service line
The FDA has detailed information on Mercury levels in all different types of fish and seafood.
U. S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Office of Seafood
Mercury Levels in Seafood Species
The following tables provide the mean and range of mercury levels in a variety of fish and shellfish
Fish With Highest Mercury Levels
SPECIES MEAN (PPM) RANGE (PPM) NO. OF SAMPLES
Tilefish 1.45 0.65-3.73 60
*Swordfish 1.00 0.10-3.22 598
King Mackerel 0.73 0.30-1.67 213
*Shark 0.96 0.05-4.54 324
Fish and Shellfish With Much Lower Mercury Levels
MEAN (PPM) RANGE (PPM) NO. OF SAMPLES
Grouper (Mycteroperca) 0.43 0.05-1.35 64
Tuna (fresh or frozen)*does not specify variety of tuna 0.32 ND-1.30 191
*Lobster Northern (American)
0.31 0.05-1.31 88
Grouper (Epinephelus) 0.27 0.19-0.33 48
0.23 0.02-0.63 29
*Sablefish 0.22 ND-0.70 102
*Pollock 0.20 ND-0.78 107
*Tuna (canned) *does not specify variety of tuna
0.17 ND-0.75 248
0.17 0.02-0.50 94
*Crab Dungeness 0.18 0.02-0.48 50
0.15 ND-0.38 55
0.09 0.02-0.24 29
0.05 ND-0.22 66
0.07 ND-0.31 22
*Salmon (fresh, frozen or canned)
ND ND-0.18 52
*Oysters ND ND-0.25 33
*Shrimps ND ND 22
Fish With Methyl Mercury Levels Based on Limited Sampling
MEAN (PPM) RANGE (PPM) NO. OF SAMPLES
0.60 0.07-1.46 10
Marlin 0.47 0.25-0.92 13
0.60 0.60 1
0.58 0.42-0.76 9
0.49 0.10-0.91 9
0.42 1.22 (max) NA
0.30 0.20-0.40 2
0.28 0.18-0.41 15
Trout Seawater 0.27 ND-1.19 4
0.19 ND-0.33 11
0.19 0.12-0.25 15
*Ocean Perch 0.18 ND-0.31 10
0.17 0.07-0.37 10
Whitefish 0.16 ND-0.31 2
0.15 0.016-0.28 8
*Spiny Lobster 0.13 ND-0.27 8
0.11 0.10-0.31 4
Perch Saltwater 0.10 0.10-0.15 6
0.04 ND-0.18 17
*Clams ND ND 6
Tilapia ND ND 8
*Fish and shellfish among the most consumed of the domestic seafood market
Sources of methyl mercury data:
FDA database FY 85-99
EPA Mercury Study Report to Congress, 1997
A Survey of the Occurrence of Mercury in the Fishery Resources of the Gulf of Mexico Report (2000)
NMFS 1976, 1978 Report
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does mercury come from? Are mercury levels increasing?
Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is present throughout the environment and in plants and animals. Human activity can release some of that mercury, increasing the amount available to accumulate in humans and other animals.
Human activities have increased the amount of mercury that is currently cycling in the atmosphere, in soils, and in lakes, streams and the oceans. Mercury in these locations increases risks to people and wildlife. Although the U.S. and many other industrialized countries have substantially reduced mercury uses and releases in recent decades, these reductions are not yet reflected in the air, soils, water or fish.
What is methylmercury?
There are three forms of mercury -- methyl, elemental, and inorganic. Releases of mercury to the environment are usually in the form of elemental or inorganic forms. Methylmercury is an organic form of mercury. Biological processes change the chemical form to methylmercury, which is the more toxic form found in fish. Methylmercury bioaccumulates through the food chain and, once in the body, can affect the fetal and adult nervous systems.
What are the biggest sources of mercury air emissions?
According to EPA's 1997 Mercury Study Report to Congress, coal-fired electric utilities are the largest source of human-caused mercury air emissions in the U.S. Utilities are followed by:
1. Municipal waste combustors (19 percent);
2. Medical waste incinerators (10 percent);
3. Hazardous waste combustors (4+ percent).
How does mercury move through the environment?
In the atmosphere, mercury is transported by wind either as a vapor or as particles. Mercury reaches waters either through direct deposition or as run-off from soil after rain. In the water, biological processes can transform mercury into methylmercury—a highly toxic form, which can accumulate in fish.
How does mercury from power plants wind up in fish?
When mercury is deposited into the water, microorganisms help convert it to methylmercury, a highly toxic form of mercury. Small organisms and plants take up the mercury as they feed. As animals higher up the food chain eat those plants and organisms, they, too, take in methylmercury. The process continues, with levels of mercury increasing, up the food chain. This process is known as bioaccumulation. Fish higher in the food chain, such as sharks and swordfish, have much higher mercury concentrations than fish lower on the food chain.
How much does the U.S. contribute to worldwide mercury emissions?
Although the amount of mercury the U.S. contributes globally is small (about 3 percent), it still contributes more than it receives. Approximately two-thirds of U.S. mercury emissions are transported outside our borders. However, approximately 60 percent of the mercury deposition that occurs in the U.S. comes from domestic, human-made sources of pollution. The highest deposition rates from U.S. sources occur in the southern Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, the Northeast, and scattered areas in the Southeast.
How does mercury affect health?
At high doses, mercury exposure can cause tremors, inability to walk, convulsions, and even death. At levels more commonly seen in the United States, the mercury exposure effects documented include more subtle—yet still serious—damage to the senses and brain.
The developing fetus is the most sensitive to the effects of mercury, and so women of child-bearing age are the population of greatest concern. Children of women exposed to relatively high levels of methylmercury during pregnancy have exhibited a variety of abnormalities, including delayed onset of walking and talking, and reduced neurological test scores. Children exposed to far lower methylmercury exposures in the womb have exhibited delays and deficits in learning ability.
Do some fish contain more mercury than others?
Yes. Freshwater fish caught by recreational or subsistence fishermen (people who fish for their food) from contaminated waters have been shown to have particularly high levels of methylmercury. Certain species of commercially available saltwater fish, such as shark and swordfish, kingfish and tilefish also can contain high levels of mercury.
How much will EPA reduce mercury emissions from power plants?
The EPA announced it will regulate emissions from power plants. That's the first step toward developing regulations. Next, EPA will begin the work to propose regulations (December 15, 2003). The Agency will issue final regulations by Dec. 15, 2004.
What else is EPA doing to reduce mercury emissions?
EPA has taken a number of recent actions to reduce mercury pollution, include issuing stringent regulations for industries that significantly contribute to mercury pollution. These actions, once fully implemented, will reduce nationwide mercury emissions caused by human activities by about 50 percent over 1990 levels. They include:
Municipal waste combustors (MWCs) emitted about 20 percent of total national mercury emissions into the air in 1990. EPA issued final regulations for MWCs on October 31, 1995. When fully implemented in the year 2000, these regulations will reduce mercury emissions from these facilities by about 90 percent, from 1990 emission levels.
• Medical waste incinerators (MWIs) emitted about 24 percent of total national mercury emissions into the air in 1990. EPA issued emission standards for MWIs on August 15, 1997. When fully implemented in 2002, EPA's final rule will reduce mercury emissions from MWIs by about 94 percent from 1990 emission levels.
• Hazardous waste combustors (HWCs) emitted about 2.5 percent of total national mercury emissions in 1990. In February 1999, EPA issued emission standards for these facilities, which include incinerators. When fully implemented, these standards will reduce mercury emissions from HWCs by more than 50 percent from 1990 emission levels.
In addition, U.S. industrial demand for mercury dropped 75 percent from 1988 to 1997. The drop can be attributed to a number of actions, including:
• federal bans on mercury additives in paint and pesticides;
• industry efforts to reduce mercury in batteries;
• increasing state regulation of mercury emissions and mercury in products;
• state-mandated recycling programs; and
• voluntary actions by industry.
EPA supports the efforts of state and local governments to achieve mercury discharge reductions through outreach and technical assistance for mercury pretreatment programs at sewage treatment plants. EPA also assists states and tribes in developing innovative regulatory approaches, such as the market-based emissions reduction program for the State of Minnesota.
07-21-2003, 05:08 PM #3
I hear you. Is kind of scary, just a reason to eat more salmon. Canned salmon is not really too bad but I lean toward grilling some fillets.
Thanks for the post.
07-21-2003, 05:40 PM #4
The mercury talk in tuna isnt new bro...been around since the early 90´s maybe earlier. Talk about slow...
07-21-2003, 09:08 PM #5Originally Posted by palme
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)