Mercury is a heavy metal that has been linked to health problems. Apart from pollution, exposure to mercury can be obtained from eating fish. So, what types of fish contain mercury?
Overview of the dangers of consuming fish containing mercury
The mercury in fish is in the form of methylmercury. This compound comes from seafloor deposits.
Fish absorb methylmercury through the gills while swimming and through the digestive tract when eating.
Long-term exposure to low-dose mercury absorbed through the digestive tract can cause immune system disorders and symptoms of nerve damage .
Mercury is also fat-soluble so it easily enters the brain, disrupting its function.
Mercury that enters the body through blood vessels can also cause pulmonary embolism .
In pregnant women, mercury can cross the placenta and have adverse effects on the baby at birth, such as problems with thinking skills, delays in language learning, and memory problems.
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List of fish is highest in mercury
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries ( KKP ) stated that the safe threshold for mercury in fish and other foods is 1 ppm.
Here are some types of fish that contain high levels of mercury , even exceeding the specified threshold
Shark fins are widely hunted because they are claimed to have health benefits. Unfortunately, various studies say otherwise.
This fish is also relatively high in mercury, which is around 0.979 ppm.
Just like swordfish, sharks are predators that can eat fish or other organisms that store mercury.
No wonder shark is one of the fish that contains high mercury.
Fish that have a “sword” in the snout is also a fish that is high in mercury.
Indeed, the mercury level detected in this fish is still below the threshold, which is 0.995 ppm. However, it is still high in mercury.
Just like the tilefish , this swordfish has a longer life so that mercury can accumulate for a long time.
In addition, swordfish are predatory fish or fish that eat other fish.
This puts swordfish at the top of the food chain and can eat other high-mercury fish.
Quoting the United States Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ), this one fish contains quite high mercury, which is 1.123 ppm.
Of course, this exceeds the threshold set by the Ministry. This fish has a distinctive sweet and soft taste, similar to lobster .
Tilefish have high levels of mercury because their life span is relatively longer, even reaching several decades.
This makes mercury collect more than other types of fish.
4. Bigeye tuna
Indeed, tuna is a healthy and nutrient -rich intake . However, be careful if you want to eat bigeye tuna .
This fish contains mercury of 0.689 ppm. If you want to choose a type of tuna that is low in mercury, choose skipjack or skipjack tuna .
This fish only contains mercury of 0.144, much lower than large tuna.
The fish that is often used for pempek actually contains quite high mercury, which is around 0.73 ppm.
Indeed, way below some of the previous fish. However, the FDA lists mackerel in the top 5 list of fish high in mercury.
This fish also has a relatively long age, which is 20 years. So, do not be surprised if mercury can accumulate in the mackerel’s body from time to time.
Even though it is high in mercury, you can still consume it safely if you choose mackerel that is cultivated with certain controls according to KKP standards.
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How to avoid fish containing mercury
List of fish is highest in mercury – To avoid this fish, there are a number of things you must understand. You can choose fresh water fish instead of sea fish , such as rivers and lakes.
Freshwater environments tend to be less contaminated with mercury than marine. In addition, you can avoid some of the larger predatory fish.
As previously known, predatory fish are fish that contain high mercury.
Apart from their body size, you can see it from the teeth in their mouth which are sharp and some have large molars.
There are several types of fish that contain very high mercury.
The levels have even exceeded or are close to the maximum threshold set by the ministry.
For that, limit consumption of this fish to only 2 times a week. If necessary, alternate with fish high in omega-3.
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