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Fish-induced mercury poisoning.

Fish-Induced Mercury Poisoning

"I've been examined by every medical specialist. If a medical test exists, I've been subjected to it. Nothing helped my slowly atrophying arms until we suspected mercury poisoning. That can be attributed to my daily diet of tuna fish."

The individual quoted above admits that for several decades he consumed tuna fish, known to be high in mercury, without realizing that his dietary regimen would have eventually crippled him beyond any relief. A change in diet alleviated the recurring pain moderately, but damage inflicted during the past has not been reversible.

The high levels of mercury found in Florida fish pose a health hazard that has caused state health officials in Tallahasee, Florida, to study the problem. Other states and communities, encouraged by the Department of Environmental Regulation, are determined to seek out facts that will enable them confidently to warn the public against eating mercury-containing fish.

Much of the mercury acquired by sea life can be attributed to toxic heavy metals in the air and water, along with sediment that reaches aquatic life.

Other fish that have been implicated in transference of mercury are swordfish and trout. In Pennsylvania, the Fish Commission suspects that mercury is present in bass, pickerel, and walleye in at least 12 lakes throughout the state.

Many scientists suspect that much of the problem can be attributed to release of mercury from the burning of oil and natural gas, the use of latex paints, and trash-to-stream incinerators.

"The fastest way for mercury to reach humans," a Florida state official commented, "is to swallow it in the food supply. Fish especially."
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Mar 22, 1991
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