|JANUARY 23, 2008óLab tests on sushi from 20 Manhattan eateries and markets contained so much mercury that eating six pieces a week would exceed safe levels as outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency, the New York Times has reported.|
The New York Times procured the sushi for tests in October. According to the Times, five of the 20 places surveyed had mercury levels so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take action to remove the fish.
“No one should eat a meal of tuna with mercury levels like those found in the restaurant samples more than about once every three weeks,” Dr. Michael Gochfeld, professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J., said.
While the survey focused on New York City, scientists expect that results would be similar throughout the country.
“Mercury levels in bluefin are likely to be very high regardless of location,” Tim Fitzgerald, a marine scientist for Environmental Defense, told the New York Times.
A 2004 FDA advisory to pregnant women about mercury levels in canned tuna excluded fresh tuna; however, the Times found that mercury levels in fresh tuna exceeded the levels in canned tuna.
According to Medical News Today, mercury can impair peripheral vision, speech, hearing and motor coordination as well as cause numbness, weakness, rashes and mood swings. It’s also harmful to people’s organs and immune system.