Mercury Levels in Women of Childbearing Age Have Declined, Researchers Find

Posted: 12/26/2013  browse the blog archive
Mercury Levels in Women of Childbearing Age Have Declined, Researchers Find

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study finds that blood mercury levels of women of childbearing age have dropped 34 percent from surveys conducted over 10 years ago.

Many people are exposed to mercury in the form of methylmercury often found in fish and shellfish that live in mercury-contaminated water.  Mercury builds up in people that eat fish containing mercury, and mercury buildup in the body has been linked to health and developmental problems in pregnant women, fetuses, infants, and children.

During the survey period there was very little change in the amount of fish people consumed. The decrease in the ratio of mercury intake to fish consumed suggests that women may have shifted to eating types of fish with lower mercury concentrations.   

The EPA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advise women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish, such as albacore tuna, orange roughy, and swordfish, and to eat fish and shellfish that are low in mercury, such as clams, anchovies, shrimp, and salmon.  Concerned consumers are advised to consult the fact sheet on the EPA’s website.

The Chanler Group represents citizen enforcers who, acting in the public interest, commence actions against businesses offering products for sale in California that contain chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm without first providing the health hazard warning required by Proposition 65. Citizen enforcers bringing Proposition 65 actions in the public interest may obtain a Court Judgment imposing civil penalties, an injunction requiring reformulation of products, and/or provision of health hazard warnings. The Chanler Group has represented citizen enforcers of Proposition 65 for more than twenty years.