Mercury found in California seafood

Feb 07, 2011

An environmental activism group has found high levels of mercury in bay area sushi and fish from local markets.

Advocates from Got Mercury were disappointed when they discovered mercury in seafood from local California markets, but were even more angered when some of those markets chose to do nothing about it, according to an article in the San Fransisco Chronicle.

The environmental advocacy group secretly tested tuna and swordfish from local grocery stores and sushi restaurants, and after finding the potentially harmful metal, encouraged the stores to alert their customers. But according to the Chronicle, none of the restaurants posted warnings and fewer than half of the grocery stores informed shoppers.

Members of the group, including the author of the study Buffy Tarbox, are angered by the lack of action taken to protect consumers. "They are selling food with high levels of mercury - levels the federal government says are too high for children and pregnant women to eat," Tarbox told the Chronicle.

The amounts of mercury found in the seafood varied, but the average parts per million for both swordfish and tuna were well above the national averages published by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the paper.

Mercury can cause illness or even death if consumed over long periods of time, according to Medline plus. Substances like mercury may pose an increased risk of unexpected death, making life insurance policies beneficial even for those in seemingly perfect health.  

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