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Contact EPA Pacific Southwest Mercury

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Mercury and HealthMercury

National Information

Human Health

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Mercury is an element that is still found readily throughout the environment, including in your everyday community life such as the dental office or the hospital. Mercury can bioaccumulate in certain types of fish which are commonly consumed here in the Pacific Southwest. The resources on this page can help you understand the sources of mercury in your community (TRI report), how to protect your family’s health (fish consumption advisories) and how medical and dental practices and public agencies are taking action to reduce mercury in your community.

Fish Consumption Advice Resources

EPA/FDA fish consumption advisories ('What you need to know" brochures in several languages and other valuable information)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Seafood Information  Exiting EPA (disclaimer) (Technical documents regarding levels of mercury and other substances found in seafood)

Where You Live: Fish Advisory
General Fish Consumption Recommendations

By following the following three recommendations for selecting and eating fish or shellfish, women and young children will receive the benefits of eating fish and shellfish and be confident that they have reduced their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury.

  1. Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.

  2. Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.
    • Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
    • Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.
  3. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.
    Follow these same recommendations when feeding fish and shellfish to your young child, but serve smaller portions.

Environmentally Responsible Dentistry

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