Concerns over mercury levels in largemouth bass from Big Bear Lake appear to be a giant overreaction (“Concerns raised about lake’s fish,” Nov. 25).
The highest mercury level recorded in Big Bear bass, 0.6 parts per million, is far less than the 1.0 parts per million “action level” that the Food and Drug Administration follows when evaluating fish sold commercially.
And this FDA “action level” itself incorporates a tenfold safety margin as a precautionary measure. (Advisory levels from the Environmental Protection Agency also include a tenfold safety cushion.)
So when the mathematical dust settles, the most mercury-laden fish in this Big Bear Lake sample contained just 6 percent — 6 percent! — of the level of mercury that might be a genuine cause for health concern.
There’s far more health benefit than harm lurking in those fish.
Anglers shouldn’t worry. And regulators should find a new cause to fret about.