Reducing Mercury Exposure from Seafood- Media Advisory

Three Simple Ways to Protect the Public from Toxic Mercury
San Francisco- Today, coinciding with a new report released by Greenpeace showing elevated levels of mercury in 21% of American women of child-bearing age, the Sea Turtle Restoration Project is making three simple recommendations that could reduce or eliminate serious human health hazards caused by mercury in seafood.

First, the Sea Turtle Restoration Project is recommending that consumers eliminate seafood high in mercury from their diets. “We recommend that seafood consumers simply stop eating swordfish, albacore tuna and shark,” suggests Andy Peri of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. These species of fish are know to contain high levels of mercury and are listed in EPA and/or State of California consumer warnings.

The second recommendation is to stay informed about mercury in seafood and select low mercury options by visiting www.gotmercury.org, an online calculator that allows consumers to determine their mercury exposure from 48 different types of commonly eaten seafood. This simple-to-use website allows consumers to choose seafood that is low in mercury and helps them eliminate species that contain dangerously high levels of mercury.

The third recommendation is for the implementation of a national warning sign program, much like California’s Proposition 65, which requires health advisories at seafood counters and on packages.

“Had there been a national health warning program in place, I would not have found myself with extremely high levels of mercury during the first trimester of my pregnancy,” says Stacey Reynolds who was poisoned from eating swordfish purchased at Whole Foods in Washington, D.C. earlier this year.

“Mercury continues to contaminate our environment and we need to be diligent to stop it at its sources including coal-burning power plants and chlorine processing plants,” says Peri,”but these three simple efforts can help us reduce exposure right now”.

Available Resources
1. www.gotmercury.org
2. B-roll and photographs available
3. Electronic Press Kit- www.seaturtles.org/prog_camp2.cfm?campaignID=20

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