Resources & Links
Federal public health agency charged with providing science-based health information to help prevent illness from exposures to toxic substances including mercury.
Department of Public Health
Includes contaminant information on both sport-caught and commercial fish as well as specific information for the avid fish consumer. Good discussion on the benefits and risk trade-offs with fish consumption.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Information on fish consumption. State, tribal and local governments are responsible for local sport fish advisories. State Departments of Health offer advice primarily on sport fishing, though increasingly states do include commercial fish information. (Connecticut and Washington State Department of Health provide advice on both commercial and sport fish (see links). State advisories can be accessed via the EPA site. The EPA issued a joint fish consumption advisory with the FDA in 2004.
New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
The NYC DHMH conducted a study of blood mercury levels in NYC residents and found that almost 50% of Asians and 25% of adults were estimated to be over the EPA’s recommended blood mercury level. Based on their findings, they produced guidelines for physicians. McKelvey et al. also conducted a follow-up study to measure contaminants of the fish that are popular among Asian residents.
State Department of Health
“Fish Facts for Healthy Nutrition” contains information and advice on how to consume fish safely while reaping the nutritional benefits. The only fish advice from a public health agency to include all considerations for fish consumers—fish advice sorted by mercury and persistent organic contamination with flags for high omega-3 fatty acid fish, and notes on “sustainability” for species at risk.
Academic programs and research organizations studying mercury
Toxic Metals Research Program
Studies several metals in our environment including mercury. Good information and resources on mercury as well as annotated link information for other informational sites.
Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP), Atmospheric Mercury Network (AMNet)
Collaborative group of government and other organizations who measure atmospheric deposition and study its effects on the environment. The AMNet network is a group of monitoring stations that measure atmospheric mercury fractions which contribute to dry and total mercury deposition.
Environmental Not-for-Profit Organizations with helpful information
BOI's focus is on ocean conservation; a leader in providing environmental sustainability information in a manner that acknowledges the art in nature. Online guides combine environmental sustainability information with warning flags if a fish is known to have potential health risk from mercury or PCBs. The Fishphone is a downloadable iPhone application; users of other cellphones can sign up to receive text messages.
A clear leader in providing extensive information on mercury and PCB contaminants in fish in addition to sustainability information and even recipes. EDF data provides guidance for many aquaria and other non-profit groups who provide fish advice guidance. In addition to seafood contaminant advice, wallet cards for fish sustainability advice and sushi choices are available.
Focuses on outreach about mercury in fish. Home page features a calculator that allows users to enter their body weight and learn about their estimated mercury intake.
Resources Defense Council
Useful basic information about mercury in fish, its causes, information for medical professionals, and a calculator to estimate your mercury dose from the fish you eat. A wallet card guides tuna consumption guidance based on body weight—a handy tool for feeding children. A sushi guide is also available.
Mercury Policy Project
“The Mercury Policy Project (MPP) works to promote policies to eliminate mercury uses, reduce the export and trafficking of mercury, and significantly reduce mercury exposures at the local, national, and international levels.” Mercury and Fish: The Facts is an MPP-sponsored web site with a look at the controversies and misinformation around mercury in fish and fish advisories.
Hazards: Mercury Prompts a New Call to Limit Tuna (N.Y. Times Dec. 13, 2010)
Mercury Levels Are Increasing in Popular Species of Game Fish in Lake Erie (Science Daily, May 20, 2010)
Mercury Found in Every Fish Tested, Scientists Say (N.Y. Times Aug.19, 2009)
How Mercury Emissions Reach Tuna And Other Seafood, And Why Mercury Contamination Is Likely To Worsen (Science Daily, May 3, 2009)
Study shows link between air pollution, contaminated seafood” (N.Y. Times, May 1, 2009)
A Call for Tougher Standards on Mercury Levels in Fish (Yale Environment 360, Jan. 26, 2009)
Making Sense About Mercury in Fish (NPR, Jan. 31, 2008)
Taking Worry Off the Plate (N.Y. Times Jan. 30, 2008)
High Mercury Levels Are Found in Tuna Sushi (N.Y. Times Jan. 23, 2008)
New Report Fuels Confusion About Women, Fish (NPR, Oct. 4, 2007)