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Mercury in fish

  1. #1
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    Mercury in fish

    Bought us some Chilean Sea Bass today and didn't feel like eating it after I read many reports that is critically overfished and possibly on the road to extinction. It is also relatively high in mercury (from contaminated water). So I did some more research and came upon these websites which might be of help to some in making decisions about which fish to eat. Since many of us on this forum are pregnant or breastfeeding or feeding our little children its important we take care of buying only those fish which are low in Mercury and not overfished.


    What You Need to Know about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish | Fish Advisories | US EPA
    Seafood Selector - Environmental Defense Fund
    http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=17694
    Abalone - Seafood Watch | Monterey Bay Aquarium
    FDA Consumer: Mercury In Fish: Cause for Concern?
    US FDA - Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/31/dining/31fbox.html
    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/assets/binaries/fish-slip
    Last edited by geomum; 03-24-2009 at 04:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    Since we're on the subject of fish... has anyone tried Bombay Duck? In Cantonese "cuisine," it's called "kaw toh yiu" (nine-stomach fish, literal translation) and is usually served fried almost to a crisp (but still soft inside).

    I'm asking because my son loves to eat this and I am wondering about its mercury level... Does anyone know?

  3. #3
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    Part of the Case Study I read online but could not upload here:

    In Dr. Paul Lam?s private pediatric clinic in Hong Kong, children are treated for a number of ailments, all related to chronic mercury intoxication. Aside from multiple medical problems, the most common symptoms seen in those children are recurrent feeding problems, hyperirritability, immune deficiencies, severe allergies, skin problems. Conventional medical treatment has been tried and has failed.
    The cause of intractable symptoms in early infancy is thought to be transplacental passage of heavy metal from mothers who had a history of regularly consuming contaminated fish. Mercury levels in maternal blood, cord blood, and hair samples from newborn infants in Hong Kong and correlation with fish consumption and maternal age were evaluated in the study. Maternal fish consumption and maternal age were found to be positively correlated with cord blood mercury levels. Approximately 78% of the cord blood samples were above 29 nmol/L. Marine fish consumption was found to have a stronger positive correlation with mercury concentration than freshwater fish consumption.1
    Hong Kong fish and seafood are known to be contaminated with mercury and arsenic. The average person in Hong Kong consumes fish or shellfish four or more times a week averaging about 60 kg of fish per year. Children, especially those of upper-income families, are regularly feed fish at an early age, generally before age one. Even though the mean mercury level in store-bought Hong Kong fish was only 0.12 mg/kg, corroborating evidence is presented from numerous studies to support the view that mercury bioaccumulates. If a child eats on average 100 g of fish three times per week (which is not much for Hong Kong people), he will consume about 0.03mg (=30mcg) mercury per week. The authors of a study on subfertility, published in 1998, estimate that by the time a typical Hong Kong male reaches 30 years of age, he will accumulated 4mg/kg or 4mcg/g mercury in hair ? only from eating fish.2 A recent statistical evaluation of laboratory data obtained from Hong Kong children demonstrates that the average mercury accumulation of mercury in hair of Hong Kong children younger than 12 years of age is already that high, namely 4mg/kg.
    An assessment of US children, one to five years of age (n = 838), and women, 16-49 years of age (n = 1,726), using hair mercury analysis during the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed a tremendous difference. The data are representative of the US population and are based on analysis of cross-sectional data for the noninstitutionalized, US household population. The survey consisted of interviews conducted in participants? homes and standardized health examinations conducted in mobile examination centers. Distributions of total hair mercury levels expressed as micrograms per gram hair Hg and the association of hair Hg levels with sociodemographic characteristics and fish consumption are reported. Geometric mean (standard error of the geometric mean) hair mercury was 0.12 μg/g (0.01 μg/g) in children and 0.20 μg/g (0.02 μg/g) in women. Among frequent fish consumers, geometric mean hair mercury levels were threefold higher for women (0.38 vs. 0.11 μg/g) and twofold higher for children (0.16 vs. 0.08 μg/g) compared with nonconsumers.

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    cyberfish88 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for posting this geomum. I just started doing the research so that I can feed my LO fish. All this info is a little bit scary though since it is overwhelming. Also very little information on fish caught out here in Asia which means it may be safer to stick to the frozen/canned imported fish? Seen any references for local (Asia) fish?

  5. #5
    JasmineTea is offline Registered User
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    HK Govt websit has posted a report on mercury content dated April 08. The report lists most of the local fish we eat in HK; just scroll down to the bottom of the page:

    Centre for Food Safety - Risk Assessment Studies - Mercury in Fish and Food Safety

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    Thanks a lot JasmineTea! This list is fantastic, especially because it has both the Chinese and English names of the fish - sooo helpful.

    Buckeroo, take a look at the list because your Bombay Duck is there.

  7. #7
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    Thanks, JasmineTea and cyberfish. Great list. Thanks for sharing!

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