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Consumption of certain fish during pregnancy associated with poorer cognitive performance
Date:11/12/2009

This release is available in French and Spanish.

Children who eat fish more than 3 times per week show a worse performance in the general cognitive, executive and perceptual-manipulative areas. Those with higher levels of exposure to mercury show a generalised delay in cognitive, memory and verbal areas. Mercury is a contaminant found especially in oily fish and canned fish and to a lesser extent in white fish.

This conclusion emerges from research conducted at the University of Granada, which warns of the need to assess children's health risk according to fish consumption, distinguishing between varieties or species they consume, especially in those areas where fish is part of the staple diet of the population.

The work entitled "Children's exposure to environmental contaminants in Granada and potential effects on health" was carried out by Carmen Freire Warden, from the Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine of the UGR, and led by professors Nicols Olea and Marieta Fernndez Serrano Cabrera.

For this study, scientists analyzed the exposure to environmental contaminants through water, air and diet, in a sample of 220 children in the geographic health care area of San Cecilio University Hospital in Granada. This study has described for the first time the extent of childhood exposure to environmental pollutants of special concern, such as trihalomethanes, NO2, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and mercury. Following the hypotheses posed, this research assessed the combination of exposure to air pollution, on the one hand, and mercury, on the other, with child neurodevelopment at 4 years of age.

Mercury concentrations

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Contact: Carmen Freire Warden
cfreire@ugr.es
34-958-240-758
University of Granada
Source:Eurekalert

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