An Excessive Amount Of Tuna May Cause Mercury Poisoning In Youngsters

Children should be consuming considerably less canned tuna, otherwise their risk of serious mercury poisoning could become a public health issue in years to come, the Mercury Policy Project explained in a report issued yesterday.

The authors added that albacore tuna should never be given to children.

Children shouldn’t consume light tuna more often than once monthly when they weigh under 55 pounds. Even kids weighing over 55 pounds shouldn’t eat tuna greater than two times per month, the report mentioned.

In the united states, 52% of canned tuna can be used to make sandwiches, 22% for salads, and 15% for other uses, for example casseroles, pasta dishes, and dried packaged meal mixes.

Most People in america have noticeable amounts of mercury within their bloodstream, states the CDC (Cdc and Prevention). Based on WHO (World Health Organization), mercury levels in United states citizens are significantly greater compared to Western Men and women. The Eu has a tendency to have more stringent rules regarding drink and food.

Part of the customer group within the coalition that produces The Mercury Policy Project, Sarah Klein, from the Center for Science within the Public Interest, stated:


“Today we unfortunately have to bring consumers a warning about tuna. Despite its popularity, it should be a rare meal for children.”

Can of tuna

Serious concerns happen to be expressed about mercury levels in kids who eat tuna.

59 examples of tuna from 11 different US states were examined, the authors described. The tuna was bought in 4-pound cans or foil packages from catering services supplying schools, or from the colleges themselves.

Discrepancy in canned tuna mercury readings

Test results show mercury levels vary significantly from can to can. Even inside a can itself, various parts have different levels of mercury. There have been also discrepancies with Food and drug administration (Fda) test results. The Mercury Policy Project had lower blood pressure measurements for mercury levels see how to avoid tuna and greater ones in albacore tuna in comparison towards the results printed through the Food and drug administration.

Regardless of the data presented within this new report, the Food and drug administration states it stands by its recommendations of no more than 12 oz . per week of canned light tuna and 6 oz . of albacore. Six oz . is the same as a typical can of tuna.

The Mercury Policy Project states that understanding of exorbitant mercury levels in certain fish has elevated significantly during the last 10 years. Women that are pregnant, especially, have grown to be a lot more careful when looking for food. However, whether fish consumption in class foods may pose a danger to health continues to be largely overlooked.

In it’s 2011 Annual Are accountable to the Governor, Legislature and People from the Condition of Vermont, the Advisory Committee on Mercury Pollution suggested:


“….collaboration between the Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Education to communicate with Vermont schools and raise awareness among faculty, staff, and parents about the methyl mercury exposure risk to young children of consuming excessive amounts of tuna fish in school lunch programs.”

Mercury levels in fish is a growing concern

The Californian State Water Resources Control Board announced in May 2011 that the presence of methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Californian sport fish is “widespread” and a concern for human health.

Tuna sushi

Tuna sushi, if eaten regularly, can result in mercury accumulation in humans, based on the New You are able to Occasions.

A 2008 study transported by the New You are able to Occasions which examined 20 restaurants and stores in Manhattan informed that individuals who eat just six bits of tuna sushi each week could easily have bloodstream-mercury levels above the federal government safety limits.

What is mercury poisoning from food?

Mercury poisoning, also called hydrargyria or mercurialism is an illness caused by overexposure to mercury or its compounds. Mercury is a metal which can occur in several forms – all of which are potentially toxic. Mercury can be found everywhere, in water, rocks and in soil. Trace amounts of mercury also exist in the air.

Mercury in mid-air eventually forms onto land or water – rain fall washes the mercury on land into water. Some marine creatures, for example specific kinds of fish and seafood notice a buildup of methylmercury, a really toxic kind of mercury that microbes convert. Seafood and fish would be the primary causes of human methylmercury exposure.

Some kinds of fish, including tuna, shark or swordfish accumulate more methylmercury than the others. Just how much is made in their physiques is dependent on their own age, how up high they’re within the food chain, and just what they eat. The greater in the meals chain a fish is, the higher its mercury accumulation.
The signs and symptoms of mercury poisoning caused by eating too many contaminated foods may include:

  • Peripheral neuropathy – tingling, itching, pins-and-needles on toes and fingertips
  • Reduced peripheral vision
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Possible impairments in speech and hearing
  • Affected children may develop red cheeks, nose and lips; loss of nails and teeth; and some transient rashes
  • Children whose mothers had high mercury levels while pregnant may have cognitive problems as well as impairments in their central nervous system

Read a response to this article by registered dietitian with the National Fisheries Institute, Jennifer McGuire, MS., RD.