Current Projects: Outreach
A key focus of the Gelfond Fund for Mercury Research & Outreach is to improve physician awareness of methylmercury toxicity so that people with overexposures can be readily diagnosed. To that end, the Gelfond fund is privileged to be working with experts in the fields of medicine and toxicology to develop materials for physicians and health professionals that can be used in medical school training programs as well as in a physician continuing medical education course.
a) Published manuscript:"Recognizing and Preventing Overexposure to Methylmercury from Seafood Consumption: Information for Physicians", Silbernagel, S.M., Carpenter, D.O., Gilbert, S.M., Gochfeld, M., Groth III, E., Hightower, J.M., Schiavone, F.M., Journal of Toxicology, Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 983072, 7 pages, doi:10.1155/2011/983072
b) Video for health professionals, "Choosing Wisely: Recognizing and Preventing Overexposure to Mercury in Fish". Please see our "For Physicians" page for access to the video that describes two people's experience with methylmercury toxicity from seafood consumption.
c) Powerpoint Presentation: of same title as manuscript, updated 9/2013. Appropriate for training health professionals about signs and symtoms of overexposure, appropriate laboratory tests, and providing fish consumption guidance to patients.
d) Downloadable 'card' (from tables in the journal article above) with fish choice advice on one side and
list of signs and symptoms of MeHg Poisoning on other side. Adjust print size to 4
x 5.5" for 'card'.
The Safina Institute (formerly Blue Ocean Institute) uses science, art and literature to inspire a closer human relationship with the sea. Via this increased awareness BOI inspires behavior changes that will positively impact ocean health. The Gelfond Fund for Mercury Related Research & Outreach is aimed to improve public health by increasing the scientific understanding and public awareness of mercury content in fish and shellfish and how that impacts human health. Our organizational goals overlap precisely because of the relationship of human health to ocean health.
Their expertise is in translating science in nuanced ways to reach people so that they understand and desire to make personal changes. The public health message from methylmercury in fish is a complicated one that needs to be communicated to many audiences (physicians, public, regulators) in varying ways and will require many messages and venues to positively affect change in public health. This partnership that takes advantage of their expertise in communication as well as its extensive network of ocean-savvy consumers will provide a means to effectively communicate the mercury in fish message to many audiences. See their website for their mercury report and useful insights.
We worked with the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific to develop a small traveling exhibit that conveys the story of methylmercury in the environment and how it accumulates in the marine food chain and ultimately ends up in the fish we eat. The exhibit is currently on-display in CA and will travel to other aquaria, museums, educational venues in the future. Please contact us if you have an interest in hosting the exhibit.