Early School Nutrition Radio Shows — 11 March 2014
Mercury in Fish

What every parent and pregnant mom needs to consider when it comes to eating fish.

Mercury

There’s no doubt that one of the healthier foods for families is fish, but even then some fish can contain mercury. Mercury is known to impair neurological development and can affect a child’s cognitive ability. Dr. Bruce Lanphear Professor of Children’s Environmental Health at Simon Fraser University elaborates on how mercury exposure harms kids. “There can be some attentional problems, learning problems like not doing quite as well with reading, and lower IQ scores.  At higher levels children can have motor problems, they can be clumsy, they can hyper-salivation.” Overall, while fish is nutritious, we need to choose fish and seafood wisely. “What we’re sort of stuck with is trying to recommend that women, particularly pregnant women, eat fish that’s low in mercury. And it’s a bit of a catch 22 because it’s complicated. The kinds of fish that contain lower levels of mercury differ by region of the country or regions of the world. And so it’s quite challenging trying to keep up with all of that.”

The Parent Report’s guest expert is Dr. Bruce Lanphear Professor of Children’s Environmental Health at Simon Fraser University. Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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