Dangerous mercury levels in sushi

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.

By Care2 editorial staff


Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Annie, for Sharing this!

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago


Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson5 years ago


A Kennedy5 years ago

Forgot to add, they were amongst the healthist people in the world - go figure.

A Kennedy5 years ago

Here's what I don't understand, if it lowers intelligence in children so dramatically and causes so many other health problems, why aren't the people in Japan more sickly and less intelligent than us? When I lived over there for 3 yrs, everyone, I repeat Everyone, ate tons of fresh tuna - kids, pregnant women and elderly? Their diets are mostly fish and vegetables with "white"(not brown) rice.

Lydia Price

Mercury is dangerous. It can also cause your head to swell and cause glaucoma.

Robert O.
Robert O5 years ago

Too bad. I love sushi, but rarely eat it anymore because of this (and price). Thanks Annie.

Nicole O.
Nicole O5 years ago


gary c.
Gary C6 years ago

Interesting , thankyou....

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago

Great info. Thanks.