Mercury Fact Sheet

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PREGNANT WOMEN AND BREASTFEEDING WOMEN

Fish is Healthy with Healthy Choices!

Mercury Fact Sheet

Mercury found in fish caught in the San Francisco Bay, Delta and Store Bought Fish

 

What is mercury and how does mercury get into our environment?

Mercury is a natural occurring metal found in rocks and soil that mainly gets into the environment from emissions from coal-burning power plants, medical waste incinerators, manufacturers of electrical equipment and abandoned gold mines.

 

What are the effects of mercury pollution?

Mercury is a toxin that is particularly bad for pregnant women and babies, because it can cause problems with brain development. It has also been linked to memory loss and heart attacks in adults.

 

What can I do to protect me and my family?

Most people are exposed to mercury by eating fish. Canned tuna is the largest dietary source of mercury in the United States. Some toxins in fish can be removed before eating, but not mercury. Avoiding fish high in mercury is the best way to protect you and your family.

 

Can I still eat fish?

YES! Fish is a good source of protein. It is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for the heart. It’s better to eat a variety of smaller fish. Larger fish build up more toxins. Keep informed about ways to safely consume fish by contacting our office or your local health care provider.

 

Where can I get more information?

Contact Ma’at Youth Academy at 510.235-2210 to learn more about ways to make healthy choices for eating fish. Visit EPA’s website www.oehha.ca.gov/fish.html for the latest advisories.

 

Remember fish is healthy with healthy choices!