Even if recent hair-sampling conducted by the Sierra Club and Greenpeace found elevated levels of mercury in some Michigan residents, recent science indicates that this is not a cause for concern. [“Dangers of mercury pollution spreading.” February 27]
At the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, scientists from the University of Rochester presented new research from the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. Island-dwellers there eat ten times as much fish as Americans and their mercury levels are comparatively higher, but there’s no evidence that it affects their health one bit. In fact, 15-year-olds whose mothers had the highest pre-natal mercury levels outscored their peers on developmental tests.
A growing body of evidence suggests that the trace amounts of mercury in fish aren’t likely to be a health hazard to anyone. And an overwhelming amount of good science has proven the significant health benefits of eating lots of fish. Americans should remember this when they do their food shopping.