Got mercury?
June 8, 2005 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Got mercury?
posted by mrgrimm (24 comments total)
Is this really the best of the web?
posted by Yellowbeard at 8:33 AM on June 8, 2005

I wish that we didn't shit on everything good. I like fish (that's why I ordered it), but I've been hesitant to eat some fish for some time based on various environmental problems.
posted by OmieWise at 8:34 AM on June 8, 2005

I'm trying to decide if this is a little alarmist or not. We've got a similar govt. advisory here. If the govt. publishes these health guidelines to protect foetuses, particularly in the 3rd/4th month of gestation, why is it necessary to establish a website with a largely redundant calculator? I say redundant because most fish (fresh anyway) is going to be subject to the vagaries of local environments. Hm...yes, unduly alarmist or traffic slutting I'd say. The information is no doubt disseminated via govt/fisheries dept./baby health clinics/hospitals - isn't that enough?

Interestingly, FDA and the Oz site are a little at odds with breastfeeding though..

"Once the baby is born, the levels of mercury in the mother's milk are not high enough to be a risk to the infant. " Oz

"women might wish to modify the amount and type of fish they consume if they are planning to become pregnant, pregnant, nursing, or feeding a young child. " FDA
posted by peacay at 8:44 AM on June 8, 2005

Wow. Awesomely not good post.
posted by docpops at 8:46 AM on June 8, 2005

I have no problem with this post. I am glad to see the data on which fish have mercury and EPA acceptable levels. For instance, I was surprised at how low in mercury salmon is compared to many other fish. The site is a bit preachy, though.
posted by caddis at 8:53 AM on June 8, 2005

No, this is a great post. Sorry. Please don't forget to donate some money for Turtle Island research while you're there. It's a good thing this was brought up. Such a dearth of info out there on Mercury toxicity .
posted by docpops at 8:58 AM on June 8, 2005

Hmmm...I'm eating a tuna sandwich right now.

I was actually looking for something like this during Lent. I do the old-school Catholic tradition and refrain from meat (with the exception of seafood) all the way from Ash Wednesday until Easter. I was a little bit worried about my mercury levels, but I couldn't find anything more detailed than 'Limit yourself to one serving of tuna a week.' I'll be using this chart for future reference. Thanks!
posted by Alison at 9:02 AM on June 8, 2005

docpops writes "Wow. Awesomely not good post."

Oh, cool your jets. Yes, you can find -- and I have found -- other sites, including government sites, that give average mercury levels.

But having it calculated is useful, and that makes it a good FPP. Not everyone has a slide rule as handy as you do, doc.
posted by orthogonality at 9:06 AM on June 8, 2005

The always handy Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Pocket Guide, which also indicates which species are on the FDA and EPA mercury advisory for women and children.
posted by DakotaPaul at 9:10 AM on June 8, 2005

Salmon seems to be low in this particular toxic heavy metal.
posted by euphorb at 9:12 AM on June 8, 2005

I noticed that, too. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Guide above, it looks like wild Alaskan Salmon is very safe but farmed salmon is not.
posted by Alison at 9:17 AM on June 8, 2005

so, once the mercury is in your body, is it there forever, or does it come out eventually?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:33 AM on June 8, 2005

It's demethylated and excreted in feces.
posted by peacay at 9:38 AM on June 8, 2005

Good luck with finding wild salmon. The fact is that in even the best restaurant they will call it whatever they want, and even in a high-end organic market it's a complete crap-shoot. Your exposure to heavy metals is higher just walking down a city street inhaling exhaust residue, I imagine. There is no such thing as "safe" animal based proteins, it's just a question of whether or not you are more spooked by morbidity in the form of cardiovascular injury or neurotoxicity.
posted by docpops at 9:38 AM on June 8, 2005

Wow Swordfish is four hundred percent delicious!
(I recommend balsamic vinegar and oil, grilled high heat, on white beans, spinach and red onions)

on preview - glad I paused on 'post' otherwise peacay's comment might've been a response to this tasty dish.
posted by Peter H at 9:39 AM on June 8, 2005

posted by gimonca at 10:08 AM on June 8, 2005

I like the slogan.
posted by jb at 10:26 AM on June 8, 2005

Ahhhh Mercury, sweetest of the transition metals.
posted by davros42 at 11:36 AM on June 8, 2005

I wonder, do they make a similar calculator for fresh-caught fish? I eat such a lot more than ocean fish.
posted by norm at 11:46 AM on June 8, 2005

I browsed this mercury article at an airport newstand a while back and thought it was interesting.
posted by Staggering Jack at 11:52 AM on June 8, 2005

OTOH (regarding my first comment) I guess this gives me a great excuse (other than simply not liking it) for refusing to eat fish.
posted by Yellowbeard at 12:04 PM on June 8, 2005

More links: PBS segment, FDA recommendations
posted by exhilaration at 9:40 AM on June 9, 2005

watch the toxic tooth video

Even scarier is the clip How Mercury Causes
Brain Degeneration
posted by redhead at 3:00 PM on June 9, 2005

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