Is mercury a concern with wild salmon?

Friday, November 27, 2009 22:41
Comments Off on Is mercury a concern with wild salmon?

MPj04422870000[1] Q. I eat wild salmon almost every day.
Is there an issue with mercury from eating too much salmon, and how much salmon is safe to eat during the course of a week?

Both wild and farmed salmon are considered low mercury fish, but the levels of mercury can vary wildly, depending on where the fish were farmed or caught.  Mercury levels in wild caught salmon from Canada were recently found to be three times higher than in Canadian farmed salmon, for example. But even the wild salmon did not contain enough mercury to be considered a "high mercury" fish.

Developing fetuses and young children are most at risk from mercury exposure. The FDA and EPA advise that pregant women and kids avoid high-mercury fish like swordfish altogether–and eat no more than two servings per week of low-mercury fish such as salmon.

The FDA and EPA have not made any recommendations for anyone else and the benefits of eating fish are generally thought to far outweigh any risks. According to this calculator from the National Resources Defense Council, 7 large servings of salmon per week is still well within the limits considered to be "safe."

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