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What about mercury levels?

September 01, 2004

Mercury risks


Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. Too much mercury might harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system.

Last March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency advised the following for women who might become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children:

· Avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackeral or tilefish.

· Eat up to 12 ounces - two average meals - a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury, such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollack and catfish. Albacore tuna has more mercury that light tuna.

· If advice is not available about the safety of locally caught fish, eat up to 6 ounces - one average meal - per week, but don't eat other fish that week.

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- Source: "What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish," March 2004, online at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/admehg3.html

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