WASHINGTON, May 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Oceana, an international
ocean conservation group based in Washington, D.C., has been working to
prevent seafood contamination for many years. Consuming big fish high on
the food chain is the primary way that we are exposed to mercury, a heavy
metal that can cause neurological and other health problems.
In honor of Mother's Day, Oceana celebrity spokes-Mom Amber Valletta
offers a few tips for keeping your family mercury-free (and worry-free):
-- Choose low-mercury fish--fish that are small and low on the food chain.
Because mercury bioaccumulates up the marine food chain, small fish such
as tilapia and cod and shellfish such as shrimp, crab and oysters have
low mercury levels. The Washington State Department of Health has a
very handy pocket guide to mercury levels in fish
-- Limit fish consumption to 12 ounces a week for kids and women,
especially if you're thinking about getting pregnant. Because
mercury is a neurotoxin that can affect children, babies and fetuses at
lower doses than adults, it's most important for kids and women who
are pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant to avoid high-mercury fish.
Keep in mind that your body can take a while to excrete mercury that you
consumed before you got pregnant, so if there's any chance you may
become pregnant soon, it's best to be cautious about mercury in
-- Choose "chunk light tuna" or canned wild Alaska salmon over
"solid white albacore tuna." The average level of mercury in
cans of chunk light tuna, usually skipjack tuna, tested by the Food and
Drug Administration, was about one third the average mercury level in
the cans of albacore the FDA tested. If your family can adjust, you
might try switching to canned salmon, instead of tuna, which has tested
even lower in mercury and higher in healthy Omega-3s. For more
information, check out Oceana's page about mercury in canned fish
-- Tell your grocery store to post signs containing the FDA advice
mercury for women of child-bearing age and children at their seafood
counters. Oceana has persuaded nearly 30% of U.S. grocery stores to
post this information but they're working to get even more on
board. If your grocery store were posting this information, you
wouldn't need to read my tips!
-- To help keep all of our kids mercury-free, donate to Oceana's
Campaign to Stop Seafood Contamination. They are working to reduce
mercury pollution released into the environment and to educate the
public about mercury in seafood.
For more specifics about Oceana's campaign, go to
Amber Valletta file photo:
Amber Valletta biography: