Educator Tools - Slides/Talking Points- Foodborne Risk #2 Methylmercury
|Everything you need to conduct a food safety presentation for pregnant women.
Food Safety for Moms-to-Be
Foodborne Risk #2
- Metal in some fish
- High levels affect unborn baby’s nervous system
You also need to watch out for bad guy #2 — methylmercury.
Methylmercury is a metal found in some fish. The developing nervous system of a fetus is susceptible to high levels of this metal. Some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system.
Does anyone know how methylmercury gets into fish?
Mercury falls from the air and accumulate in streams and oceans. Bacteria in the water transform mercury into methylmercury. Fish absorb methylmercury as they feed on aquatic organisms.
Nearly all fish contain traces of methylmercury. However, larger, longer-lived fish that feed on other fish have stored up the highest levels of methylmercury. That’s why it’s important for pregnant women to avoid eating them.