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Mercury in Fish

Did you know that some fish has mercury in it? Mercury is released as gas from the earth’s crust and oceans, or as a chemical by-product from industry. Mercury gas dissolves in water, where bacteria transform it into methyl mercury that fish absorb. Too much accumulated mercury can cause neurological problems in humans, but you’d have to eat a whole lot of fish before that would happen. Not all fish contain mercury. But shark, mackerel, tuna and fresh water fish are more likely to contain mercury. To protect their babies, the Food and Drug Administration says women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy shouldn’t eat these fish. The FDA also says nursing mothers and children should not eat more than one serving a week of high-mercury fish. For other types of fish, including canned tuna, the FDA says about 12 ounces a week should be safe.

​The above script is part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) radio series 'A Minute for Kids,' which airs weekdays on WBBM-AM in Chicago, IL.
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