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Amber Valletta on Preventing Mercury Exposure
Date:5/9/2008

WASHINGTON, May 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Oceana, an international ocean conservation group based in Washington, D.C., has been working to prevent seafood contamination for many years. Consuming big fish high on the food chain is the primary way that we are exposed to mercury, a heavy metal that can cause neurological and other health problems.

In honor of Mother's Day, Oceana celebrity spokes-Mom Amber Valletta offers a few tips for keeping your family mercury-free (and worry-free):

-- Choose low-mercury fish--fish that are small and low on the food chain.

Because mercury bioaccumulates up the marine food chain, small fish such

as tilapia and cod and shellfish such as shrimp, crab and oysters have

low mercury levels. The Washington State Department of Health has a

very handy pocket guide to mercury levels in fish

(http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/images/fishchart-v2.jpg).

-- Limit fish consumption to 12 ounces a week for kids and women,

especially if you're thinking about getting pregnant. Because

mercury is a neurotoxin that can affect children, babies and fetuses at

lower doses than adults, it's most important for kids and women who

are pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant to avoid high-mercury fish.

Keep in mind that your body can take a while to excrete mercury that you

consumed before you got pregnant, so if there's any chance you may

become pregnant soon, it's best to be cautious about mercury in

fish.

-- Choose "chunk light tuna" or canned wild Alaska salmon over

"solid white albacore tuna." The average level of mercury in

cans of chunk light tuna, usually skipjack tuna, tested by the Food and

Drug Administration, was about one third the average mercury
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SOURCE Oceana
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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