Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Mercury in Newborns Likely from Mothers Eating Contaminated Fish

Great Lakes Echo

By Brian Bienkowski

Fetuses, newborns and infants are most at risk for mercury exposure, and a sampling of newborns in the Lake Superior basin showed 8 percent of them testing above safe levels.

The study, conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health from 2008 to 2010, tested 1,465 newborns living in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota for mercury. The 8 percent testing above safe levels had methylmercury in them—the kind from fish.

Even small amounts of mercury can hurt infants’ developing brain and nervous system.

Babies born in warm months were more likely to have higher levels, which, when coupled with the methymercury findings, suggest that fish consumption is the culprit.

Mercury can easily pass from a mother to her unborn child through the placenta.

The study is the first to look at mercury in newborns, so it’s hard to tell whether these levels are similar to those of general population.

Newborns that tested above U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established mercury limits were broken down by state:

  • No Michigan newborns
  • 3 percent of Wisconsin newborns
  • 10 percent of Minnesota newborns

Minnesotans report eating more locally caught fish, which could explain this discrepancy.

Researchers plan to use the findings to bolster fish consumption outreach to pregnant women.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Two rare Malayan tiger cubs born at the Bronx Zoo in January 2016, Nadia and Azul made their public debut in September 2016. Nadia has now tested positive for the new coronavirus, and Azul has shown symptoms.

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo is believed to be the first animal in the U.S. and the first tiger in the world to test positive for the new coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
Derrick Jackson

By Derrick Z. Jackson

As much as hurricanes Katrina and Maria upended African American and Latinx families, the landfall of the coronavirus brings a gale of another order. This Category 5 of infectious disease packs the power to level communities already battered from environmental, economic, and health injustice. If response and relief efforts fail to adequately factor in existing disparities, the current pandemic threatens a knockout punch to the American Dream.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting with energy sector CEOs in the Cabinet Room of the White House April 3 in Washington, DC. Doug Mills-Pool / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

An Important Note

No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene ⁠— can protect you from developing COVID-19.

The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less