Mercury in Sea Food May Cause Serious Health Problems, Mercury is a component which is naturally found in our atmospheres such as in the water, air, soil, and rocks. It can be found in various forms: inorganic mercury compounds, organic mercury compounds, and metallic mercury. At room temperatures, the form of metallic mercury is a glittering silver liquid. Metallic mercury becomes an invisible gas, odorless when heat is applied. It is also known as elemental mercury.
Mercury in the Environment
Mercury naturally occurs in our atmosphere, but most part of it would be trapped in rocks below the surface if not for manufacturing or industrial processes. Coal fired up electricity generation, flaming fossil fuels such as natural gas and oil, mining, smelting, and burning of waste are the main providers of mercury to the atmosphere. Among these, the contribution of coal power plants accounts for over half of the mercury that mixed up in the seafood. Mercury mainly used to manufacture switches, light bulbs and thermometers also pollute the atmosphere due to poor care with safe disposal.
Accumulation of Toxic Form Mercury
Mercury is released into the atmosphere through burning coal and showers onto the ground of water normally by way of snow and rain. Several types of soil dwelling anaerobic bacteria that engage in sulfate transform inorganic mercury to methyl mercury through its metabolic process. This conversion is problematic and challenging from an ecological point of view, because methyl mercury is more harmful and toxic, and it takes much longer for organisms to eradicate it from their systems. Bacteria which contain methyl mercury either emit the mercury into water and organisms consume the mercury-laden bacteria. Methyl mercury then travels through these waterways to the ocean.
Methyl mercury mixed in the water travels to the food chain from being taken up by phytoplankton. These organisms are then eaten by zooplankton, a type of small fish then eat zooplankton, and small fish then are eaten by larger ocean life and so on. Methyl mercury accumulates faster in organisms than they can eliminate it. Animals eat and preserve higher amounts of methyl mercury in each step in the food chain. Because of this reason methyl mercury is found in the large amounts in predatory fish such as tuna. This bio magnification of mercury is most threatening for fish eating wildlife such as whales and dolphins and certainly poses a threat to us.
Seafood Highest in Methyl mercury:
Seafood lower in methyl mercury
Consuming different varieties of fish that have lower contamination levels are comparatively good for health. Tilapia, salmon, shrimp, catfish, cod, and tuna (can light) have lower levels of mercury.
Make sure that any seafood you consume is sustainably caught and fresh. Include foods in diet that naturally contain heavy metals like garlic, cilantro, onions, chlorella, spirulina and brazil nuts.