In 2004, Food Standards Australia New Zealand updated the Australian mercury guidelines and the advice about eating fish. These new recommendations are applicable to all people, including pregnant and young children as well as the general population. The current Australian mercury guidelines are based on research from Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committees. People with higher levels of mercury should avoid consuming fish. These guidelines also apply to shellfish. Listed below are some ways to avoid mercury from fish.
The safe level of mercury in fish is one part per million (ppm). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the maximum contaminant level for mercury in fish at 0.717 parts per million. Currently, most supermarkets follow this guideline. However, the mercury content of fish in Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union should not exceed 1 part per million. It is possible to consume fish containing more mercury than the recommended government level.
Most fish contain some mercury. This risk is low for most people. However, some fish may have higher mercury levels which could affect the developing nervous systems. In general, pregnant and nursing women should limit their fish intake to a certain number. To prevent the risk of developing a health condition, the FDA and EPA recommend limiting fish intake. Mercury can be found in all environments. It comes in three forms. Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid organic mercury as it is the most hazardous form.
The type of fish you eat and the amount of mercury you are exposed depend on how much you eat. If you have concerns about mercury exposure, consult your doctor. He or she will be able to tell you exactly how much you’re exposed to, and help you take the appropriate action. You can also check the National Listing of Fish Advisories, which lists recommendations on which fish to eat for various waterbodies.
Although fish are a healthy and low-calorie source of protein, they may contain harmful chemicals, including mercury. Excessive levels of mercury in fish can harm the developing nervous system of children and unborn babies. However, Alaska state health officials have actively monitored the mercury levels in the fish consumed by its residents. They have not yet detected any unsafe mercury exposure among Alaskan residents. This is because the state government monitors the mercury levels in fish consumed in the state.