Finding mercury in fish is nothing new, but in a new federal study, ALL of the fish tested contained mercury! Read the story, and see photos and video here.
There is some alarming new data recently released by federal researchers. In the study, fish were taken from 300 streams across the country, and every single fish contained mercury.
According to Environmental Health Perspectives online, even “modestly excessive” amounts of mercury can cause damage to the immune system. It can also have a negative impact on reproduction, and the cardiovascular system. Expectant mothers have long known to limit fish consumption to less than 12oz. a week because of the risk of their child developing learning disabilities.
So what’s the big deal about the new study?
Well, even though the mercury levels in about 75% of the fish tested were below what the government considers dangerous for the average consumer, the data points to some troubling pollution issues.
Scientists believe the majority of the mercury contamination they’ve encountered originates from coal power plants. The AP reports that smoke from coal-fired power plants contains mercury, which “rains down into waterways, where natural processes convert it into methylmercury — a form that allows the toxin to wind its way up the food chain into fish.”
Another major source of mercury contamination comes from mining gold and mercury itself.
The Environmental Working Group is encouraging government officials to issue more advisories, and to figure out ways to curb mercury pollution from its primary sources.
About the new data, a senior analyst with the group says:
“This is showing that the problem is much more widespread. If you are living in an area that doesn’t have a mercury advisory, you should use caution.”
The Obama administration has said they would like to begin working on new mercury emissions regulations for coal power plants in an effort to battle this growing problem.
What are your thoughts? Do you consume fish on a weekly basis? Are you troubled by the new information? Let us know in the comments section below.
Check out a related video below.