Mercury Levels Fish - Wesley Chapel chiropractorOne of the common metal poisoning is mercury poisoning. Mercury is present in our environment and may also be present in our food such as fish. In fact, one of the most common causes of ingestion of mercury is through eating of mercury-containing fish.

Fish are contaminated with mercury because of their nature of eating some of the waste materials in the ocean leading to toxic levels in their body. However, not all fish contain mercury in toxic levels so you should be able to determine, which fish are safe to eat and those that should be avoided throughout. The following presents the mercury levels of fish and how much servings in a month are you allowed consuming.

Fish that Contain the Least Mercury
You can actually enjoy these types of fish because they contain the least amount of mercury

Types of Fish
Maximum Mercury Levels (parts per million or ppm)
ANCHOVIES
0.049
BUTTERFISH
0.36
CATFISH
0.314
CLAM
0.028
COD
0.989
CRAB 
0.610
HADDOCK (Atlantic)
0.197
CRAWFISH
0.051
CROAKER ATLANTIC (Atlantic)
0.193
FLATFISH 
0.218
LOBSTER (Spiny)
0.270
HAKE
0.378
HERRING
0.560
JACKSMELT
0.500
MACKEREL ATLANTIC
0.160
MACKEREL CHUB (Pacific)
0.190
TUNA (CANNED, LIGHT)
0.889
SALMON (FRESH/FROZEN)
0.190
MULLET
0.270
OYSTER
0.250
POLLOCK
0.780
SALMON (CANNED)
0.086
SHAD AMERICAN
0.186
SARDINE
0.083
SCALLOP
0.033
SQUID
0.070
SHRIMP *
0.050
PERCH OCEAN
0.578
TILAPIA *
0.084
TROUT (FRESHWATER)
0.678
WHITEFISH
0.317
WHITING
0.096

Fish that Contain Moderate Amounts of Mercury
You are allowed to eat at most six servings per month of these types of fish:

Types of Fish
Maximum Mercury Levels (parts per million or ppm)
BASS (BLACK, STRIPED)
0.960
MACKEREL SPANISH (S. Atlantic)
0.73
LOBSTER (NORTHERN / AMERICAN)
0.230
BUFFALOFISH
0.430
CARP
0.271
PERCH (Freshwater)
0.325
LOBSTER (Species Unknown)
0.451
CROAKER WHITE (Pacific)
0.410
MONKFISH
0.289
SCORPIONFISH
0.456
SHEEPSHEAD
0.170
SKATE
0.36
TILEFISH (Atlantic)
0.533
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, SKIPJACK)
0.260
WEAKFISH (SEA TROUT)
0.744

Fish that Contain Moderate Amounts of Mercury
You are allowed to eat at most three servings per month of these types of fish:

Types of Fish
Maximum Mercury Levels (parts per million or ppm)
BLUEFISH
1.452
GROUPER (ALL SPECIES)
1.205
MACKEREL SPANISH (Gulf of Mexico)
1.56
TUNA (Species Unknown)
1.300
TUNA (ALBACORE)
0.820
TUNA (CANNED, ALBACORE)
0.853
TUNA (YELLOWFIN)
1.478
SABLEFISH
1.052
SNAPPER
1.366
MARLIN
0.920
HALIBUT
1.520
ORANGE ROUGHY
1.120

Fish that Contain the Highest Amounts of Mercury
In all occasions, these fish should not be consumed by humans because of very high mercury content.

Types of Fish
Maximum Mercury Levels (parts per million or ppm)
MACKEREL KING
1.670
SHARK
4.540
SWORDFISH
3.220
TILEFISH (Gulf of Mexico)
3.730
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, BIGEYE)
1.816

Knowing the mercury content of fish lets you determine, which among them are safe to eat and which should not be consumed. Although consuming fish with high amounts of mercury may not yield immediate health effects, cumulative consumption of fish high in mercury can cause adverse health effects over time such as neurologic and endocrine damage. Pregnant women and younger children should also avoid eating fish with high amounts of mercury as much as possible because of possible developmental effects in the fetus and young children. The key to determining mercury levels in fish is determining their size–the larger the fish, the more it becomes predatory; thereby yielding higher amounts of mercury in their bodies.

Stay tuned to your Wesley Chapel chiropractor blog for more health tips and information to keep you healthier for longer.