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 that can be used in medical school training programs as well as in a physician continuing medical education course.
October 2011 Update: We've published a paper and downloadable 'card' for physicians
1) 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
2) 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 : Click here! Adjust print size to 4 x 5.5" for 'card'.
2. Blue Ocean Institute (BOI) Partnership
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. The Blue Ocean Institute (BOI) 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. Our organizational goals overlap precisely because of the relationship of human health to ocean health.
BOI 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 BOI 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.
This project aims to develop a small traveling exhibit that will convey the story of methylmercury in the environment and how it impacts fish mercury levels. We have partnered with the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA to develop an exhibit that will help inform the public of how mercury gets into our marine environment and ultimately the fish we eat.