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.
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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.