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US women's blood mercury levels drop.

Blood mercury levels have dropped 34 percent among U.S. women of childbearing age, according to an Environmental Protection Agency study released in November.

However, researchers found very little change in how much fish women consumed, which suggested that women are being more careful about eating seafood with lower mercury concentrations. Based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 through 2010, the study found that blood methyl-mercury concentrations were 1.5 times higher in 1999-2000 than average concentrations between 2001 and 2010. In addition, the percentage of women of childbearing age with blood mercury levels above the level of concern decreased 65 percent during the years studied.

According to EPA, nearly all fish and shellfish con-tain traces of mercury, though it is not a health concern for most people. However, some seafood, such as swordfish and albacore tuna, contain high levels of mercury that could harm a developing fetus or interfere with a young child's nervous system.
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Title Annotation:Nation In Brief
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Feb 1, 2014
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