Another high-risk group is that of fetuses and children under 6 years of age. If a pregnant mother consumes high-mercury seafood, the compound may reach the baby’s system. When that happens, the methylmercury negatively affects the baby’s developing brain and nervous system. Additionally, some reports indicate that mercury exposure can damage the fetus’ heart and blood vessels.
After the birth of a baby that has been exposed to high levels of mercury, parents may notice health problems like:
- Microcephaly (small head)
- Developmental delay and/or intellectual disability, or condition like cerebral palsy
Very young kids who consume high-mercury fish and seafood can also suffer from the health conditions mentioned above.
How much is too much mercury?
You must be wondering: what levels of mercury might cause harm? Unfortunately, this question is tricky due to the fact that there are very few studies that focus on extracting measurements.
For now, scientists have determined that the benchmark dose of methylmercury that results in non-lethal effects (such as changes in the nervous system) in fetuses is 58 micrograms of methylmercury per liter of cord blood (blood that remains in the placenta). On the other hand, adults and children can start experiencing the adverse effects of mercury consumption at quantities of less than 3 micrograms per kilogram of body weight.
Since it is difficult to determine the amount of mercury we consume through food, the best course of action is to identify the high-mercury and low-mercury seafood in the Philippines.
Low-mercury seafood in the Philippines
Now that you know the dangers of ingesting dangerous amounts of mercury, let’s talk about the low-mercury seafood here in the Philippines. According to medical experts, the following are the types of seafood with the lowest mercury levels: