Tuesday, January 27, 2015

One Boy’s Experience with Too Much Mercury

It is often hard to believe that mercury in fish is a real problem. It’s understandable - there’s so much confusion surrounding our health. What’s actually good for you? What isn’t? Are we making too big a deal out of these issues or not big enough? It’s important to do research and investigate to find your own answers. However, it’s also important to pay attention to signs and happenings around you. Here is an example that is startling: a story of a young, intelligent boy losing his grip in school:
One by one, Matthew Davis's fifth-grade teachers went around the table describing the 10-year-old boy. He wasn't focused in class and often missed assignments, they said. He labored at basic addition. He could barely write a simple sentence. 
"Our jaws dropped," says his mother, Joan Elan Davis, describing a teachers' meeting she had requested in late 2003, when her son abruptly lost interest in homework. Matthew had always excelled in school. In the fourth grade, he had written and illustrated a series of stories about a superhero named Dog Man. 
Ms. Davis noticed something else: Her son's fingers were starting to curl, as if he were gripping a melon. And he could no longer catch a football. 
A neurologist ordered tests. They showed Matthew's blood was laced with mercury in amounts nearly double what the Environmental Protection Agency says is the safe level for exposure to the metal. Matthew had mercury poisoning, his doctors said. 
The Davises had pinpointed the suspected source: tuna fish. For a year or so, starting in late 2002, Matthew had gobbled three to six ounces a day of white albacore tuna. Based on Food and Drug Administration data for canned albacore, he was consuming a daily dose of mercury at least 12 times what the EPA considered a safe level for a 60-pound child. The Davises' doctors' prescription was simple: Matthew should stop eating canned tuna.
Click here to read full article

Please make sure to click that link above and read the full article, it's a great report of an incident but also helps to give a deeper understanding of the mercury toxicity situation at hand.

It's one thing to research and learn about mercury toxicity in fish, but it's another to actually believe it's a situation in need of change. The trauma this boy and his family went through (and others like it) are why we are researching and learning about this topic, and why we should believe. Once we truly believe, we can more easily spread the word and, eventually, make those needed changes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fish Consumption for Children and Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

Fish and shellfish are important in anyone’s eating habits.  They contain high-quality protein, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids.  These combine to get a food that is hard to get anywhere else.  Fish is especially important in young children’s and pregnant and nursing mom’s eating habits.  They enable young children to have proper growth and development. 

While fish is very important in young children and pregnant and nursing mothers, it can also be dangerous to them, or anyone, if the wrong kinds of fish are eaten too much.  Nearly all fish contain some mercury and some fish can contain dangerous levels of it if they are eaten too much.  Young children and pregnant and nursing mothers are even more susceptible to it than most people.  Too much mercury from fish or anything else can harm the nervous system of a developing baby or young child.  The most dangerous fish that contain the highest mercury levels are shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.  Some of the most commonly eaten that contain the lowest amounts of mercury are shrimp and pollock.  A good amount of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury to eat is about 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week.  This can lead to healthier babies and children if these guidelines are followed.  


Last night I went to the Cheesecake Factory with my family who is in town from Ohio and California. We hadn't had the whole family together since my brother got married 4 years ago. We got a huge table with 18 chairs, and 3 high chairs. The family rarely gets together, so when we are all together it's important that it is documented by pictures. Our server was a very nice, young man. He heard us talk about wanting to get a picture taken of all of us at the table. Every chance we got to ask him, he would quickly walk away before we were able to express it.

Finally after our whole meal was done, and our table was pretty much cleared up, we were finally able to get his attention. We asked him if he could take a minute and take a picture of all of us with our phone. His response shocked all of us.

He told us that he refuses to touch a cell phones or take pictures because they radioactive, and he believes that it causes a lot of mental diseases. It really made me think! Just thought I would share this:)

Monday, January 19, 2015

What are the impacts of mercury on human health?

Over the years, hundred if not thousand chemical substances were disposed into the water around the world. These substances could be anything from PFC, pesticides, petroleum, metal and solvent from industrial work, though one of the most toxic chemical substance that can have a long-lasting damage to both water and human is mercury. So, what is mercury? According to the U.S EPA, mercury can be found naturally in environment and exists in different forms, including metallic, organic and in-organic form. In the last couples of years, companies and corporations started to use mercury to manufacture different types of products, such as thermostats, barometers, thermometers, and many more. Even though the metallic mercury used in these products is not harmful, it becomes quite a threat when it is released into lakes, rivers and oceans by industrial facilities. Once mercury entered the water, it was taken in by bacteria and then converted it into a type of chemical called methyl mercury, according to U.S EPA.

This transition of mercury has an important impact on human, since people who consume methyl mercury will become defenseless of its effect. Once mercury consumed by small fishes, it then moves its way up the food as larger fishes consume contaminated smaller fishes. Instead of breaking down or dissolve, mercury tends to accumulate at a higher level and will cause serious side effect on human, especially children and pregnant women. This is due to the fact that children's brain is relatively fragile and still budding during the first several years of life, prenatal or infant mercury exposure can cause deafness, blindness, and mental retardation according to Mayo Clinic. Not only does mercury poses a health threat to children and pregnant women, it can also effect fertility as well as blood pressure regulation and heart disease in adult. Despite its useful role in the industrial industries, mercury contamination in water is gradually becoming a huge threat to both animals in the water and the people who consume it, especially pregnant women and children.

For more information about mercury contamination in water, visit http://water.usgs.gov/wid/FS_216-95/FS_216-95.html