Fish is important in a healthy diet, but some people need to avoid fish with high levels of mercury.
Westchester County has renewed its campaign to have supermarkets throughout the county get the word out that pregnant and nursing women, women of child-bearing age and young children should avoid eating fish with high levels of mercury.
Hence, the county has asked supermarkets to make the Mercury and Fish brochure available to their customers at the seafood counter.
Although all species of fish and shellfish contain trace levels of mercury, some varieties have higher levels. While too much mercury can have health impacts on everyone, higher levels may harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration has recommended that pregnant and nursing women, women of childbearing age and young children avoid eating swordfish, shark, king mackerel, albacore tuna and tilefish (also known as golden snapper and golden bass).
Other commonly eaten fish, such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish are low in mercury. Women and young children who eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of these varieties will receive the benefits of eating fish while reducing their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury.