Mercury Found In All US Fish
All wild fish in the United States contain mercury, according to a federal survey released August 19. The survey looked at over 1,000 fish from nearly 300 streams around the U.S, and found that they were all contaminated with various amounts of mercury. About a quarter of the fish contained doses of mercury higher than the Food and Drug Administration deems safe to eat.
The study by the U.S. Geological Survey is the most comprehensive look to date at mercury in the nation's streams. From 1998 to 2005, scientists collected and tested more than a thousand fish, including bass, trout and catfish, from 291 streams nationwide.
Mercury, also called quicksilver, is mainly released into the environment through combustion in coal-fired power plants. Other sources of mercury include volcanoes, production of steel and gold, and waste disposal.
As mercury is fat solluble, fish acumulate it in their bodies over time, and the concentrated amount of mercury rises when one fish eats another contaminated fish. Mercury can cause damage to the nervous system in humans, and lead to learning disabilities in young children.
You can assess the mercury levels in different types of fish using the calculator on gotmercury.org. If you live in the U.S, you can call the FDA's hotline 1-888-SEAFOOD. They also have a mercury information page.