1 out of 6 women has too much mercury

Mercury measurements from Upper Fremont Glacier, Wyoming

It turns out that the mercury statistic in my post regarding Ted Danson’s talk at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was wrong.

The correct statistic is: 1 out of every 6 women of child bearing age has too much mercury in her system to have a child without the risk of neurological problems.

1 out 6! That is much higher than 1 out of 10. Danson actually mentioned both numbers during the discussion but couldn’t remember off the top of his head which one was right. I was feeling optimistic and sited the lower number.

But alas, I received an email from Greenpeace that said: “As many as 1 in 6 American women have enough mercury in their bodies to put their baby at risk of brain damage, learning disabilities and birth defects.”

The email also noted that: “Half of the mercury found in the U.S. currently comes from coal-fired power plants.” The EPA is considering limiting mercury pollution and right now they are accepting public comments. So please visit the Greenpeace website and send a letter, a move that will help keep humans and the oceans healthier.

And since there is too much mercury in many types of fish, the next time you see an article on the benefits of eating fish without any information on which fish are healthy, contain limited toxins or are sustainably fished; take time to drop the author a line saying, “Hey, you’re not telling the whole story! Some fish have too much mercury and should only be eaten in very limited quantities, if at all.”

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