Mercury level mounting up on yellowfin Tuna Is industrialization to blame for itTim Kennedy (Author) Published Date : Feb 03, 2015 10:49 ET
A new study has revealed that mercury levels found in yellowfin tunas caught in the Pacific has been escalating by 3.8% annually ever since 1998.
This new found information is verifying that air pollution especially from blazing coal is the major cause for infesting the ocean food chain with mercury, causing severe health hazard to people consuming them, as published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
Evidence is piling up that the methyl mercury has an anthropogenic source, said University of Michigan eco-toxicologist Paul Drevnick, lead author of the study. It s coming from mercury emissions that are falling into the ocean.
The levels found in yellowfin tuna, a species that is not at the top of the food chain and could be considered a bellwether are concerning, said coauthor Carl Lamborg, who carried out the study at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
What this number is saying is that the amount of mercury in fish is getting higher and higher all the time, and if it keeps going like that, at some point, most every kind of fish is going to be potentially hazardous, Lamborg said. Where that point is, I don t know.
So far, researchers believe that the levels of methyl mercury found which are our body absorbs can be hazardous to health and they do most likely don t compensate for the health benefit it provides.
This information are not imprinted on tuna cans by various companies because they thought there was a time when studies suggested that mercury was coming from natural sources like deep ocean vents and in 2006 the superior court also ruled out the warning label since mercury levels were too low at that time.
The FDA is and EPA are currently renewing their recommendations about fish consumption and are recommending that pregnant women include 8 to 12 ounces of fish on their diet to enhance fetal development for their babies.
The institutions are cautioning pregnant and breastfeeding women to stay away from shark, swordfish and king mackerel while limiting the consumption of albacore/white tune.
As per research there was no detectable rise in mercury from 1971 to 1998 but after that period the methylated form started to mount-up at a rate of 3.8% annually.
Mercury has risen in the atmosphere due to industrial pollution as well as an increased level in numerous ocean basins.
In 2013, a study reflected that methyl mercury appeared to have derived from a hastily industrializing eastern Asia.
Mercury level mounting up on yellowfin Tuna Is industrialization to blame for it