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You all probably know that eating fish higher on the food chain poses a greater risk of ingesting too much mercury. What I don't understand is the "guidelines" for eating fish. You hear about recommendations for pg women to eat less fish (b/c of mercury exposure to the fetus) and that we shouldn't eat more than x amt of servings per week.

Does that mean that mercury is excreted by the liver over time so that you can "regularly" expose yourself to low levels of mercury-contaminated fish and be safe? I thought mercury was cumulative? Certainly I would imagine that an onslaught of mercury is worse that minute amts over time. But isn't it a heavy metal that accumulates in the body?

Thank you for any info.
 

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I don't have direct answers, but Hilary recently posted this thread about new scientific studies that are being done that explore the possibilities that there is not as much mercury bound in the "big fish" tissue as was previously thought. The thread is titled, "Mercury in fish: not so toxic?"
 

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My wonderful mom works for the EPA, and spent a few years in the water quality dept there. She's moved on to another part of EPA now, but still has friends who send her info. A few years back, before I got pregnant, she sent me some info (which I can't find now) and a strongly-worded "recommendation" to quit eating tuna regularly.

When I told her I was pregnant with DD, she checked again with her contacts, and told me that the official position of the EPA is that it's safe to eat tuna, etc, in small quantities, but that, off the record, none of her friends eat tuna or other high-on-the-marine-food-chain fish at all, nor do they feed them to their own kids.

That was enough for me to quit eating tuna, etc. Heavy metals are, to my knowledge, fat soluble, so healthy bodies hold onto them, with the levels growing over time. We all have toxins accumulating in our bodies from environmental exposures that we can't control, so I'm always interested in ways to cut out the exposures that I can, however small the actual amounts of the toxin may be.

HTH
 
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