The state of Florida is planning to expand its fish mercury warning, causing concern among some area fishermen.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports nearly all fish contain trace amounts of mercury, some more than others. This summer, the state of Florida is hoping to release a new health advisory about the mercury content in fish, and this news has some area fishermen concerned for his family.
Steve Rodgers, a fisherman, says, "If you're talking about the consumption of fish being a problem, it's a definite concern. We have children and we consume a lot of fish, fresh water and salt water."
For the first time, some commercially marketed fish will be included and the advisory will include strict limits on fish consumption. Area health professionals say while it's healthy to eat fish, any warning about mercury levels should be taken seriously.
Marjorie Kirsch, M.D. with the Leon County Health Department, says, "It's important to pay attention to these advisories and it's particularly important for pregnant women who are planning to become pregnant and young children to watch their mercury intake."
The FDA says fish absorb mercury from water as it passes over their gills and as they feed on aquatic organisms. The FDA also says that cooking does not reduce the mercury content of the fish. Since the mercury binds tightly to the fish's tissue.
The state first detected high mercury levels in northwest Florida in the early 80's. The warnings have since then expanded to included 12 freshwater fish from 50 bodies of water and a dozen saltwater fish in seven different zones.
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Source: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts46.html (The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Web site)