Mercury threat increasing

High levels of mercury have been found in people worldwide and now pose a public health issue in most parts of the globe, says an international report released Thursday in the journal Ambio, published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The Madison Declaration on Mercury Pollution, which outlines the latest scientific knowledge about mercury, noted that about three times more mercury is falling from the sky now than 200 years ago, before the start of the Industrial Revolution, CBC News reported.

Mercury can affect the brain, heart and immune system and harm the development of foetuses and children. The report also said that new evidence suggests that it may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, particularly in men.

Due to the health risks associated with mercury contamination, children and women of child-bearing age should limit how much and what kinds of fish they eat, the report recommended.

It said people should try to eat fish with lower levels of mercury. That means avoiding larger predatory fish such as albacore tuna that tend to accumulate higher levels of mercury than other fish, such as perch, which are lower down the food chain, CBC News reported. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Pregnant? Easy on the fish
Mercury in fish not a problem

March 2007

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