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The Issue

Mercury

Mercury exposure from eating fish carries serious health risks, especially for developing fetuses. Read about EWG’s mercury research and learn how to avoid the dangers by using EWG’s Tuna Calculator.

Highlights

Mercury in Fish Predicted To Soar Read More
EPA Moves to Limit Mercury Emissions Read More

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The Latest on Mercury

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Earlier this month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released updated consumer guidelines on fish consumption. The two agencies said that because of the important developmental and health benefits, pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who might become pregnant and young children should eat 8-to-12 ounces (2-3 servings) a week of fish varieties that have lower levels of mercury contamination. 

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Key Issues:
Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A federal advisory encouraging pregnant women, nursing mothers and children to eat more seafood fails to protect them from methylmercury exposure and guide them to better fish choices, according to a new analysis released today by Environmental Working Group and the Mercury Policy Project.

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Key Issues:
News Release
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New seafood consumption guidelines announced today by the federal Food and Drug Administration could put at risk the health of young children and pregnant and nursing women, according to Environmental Working Group senior analyst Sonya Lunder.

 

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News Release
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

People who follow the federal government’s guidelines on seafood consumption are likely to consume too much mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin, or too few beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, according to a new EWG analysis of fish contaminant and nutrient data.

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Key Issues:
Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, January 17, 2014

People who follow the Obama administration’s guidelines on eating seafood could consume dangerous amounts of mercury, a potent neurotoxin, or too few essential omega-3 fatty acids, according to a new EWG analysis of fish contaminant and nutrient data.

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News Release
Monday, October 28, 2013

EWG and the Keep A Breast Foundation today released a guide to educate consumers about some of the most problematic hormone-altering chemicals that people are routinely exposed to. EWG parntered with KAB to develop the Dirty Dozen list of endocrine disruptors to highlight the prevalence of these toxic chemicals, how they affect our health and simple ways to avoid them.

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News Release
Thursday, March 29, 2012

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today that 1 in 88 American children have an autism spectrum disorder, a 23 percent increase since the agency’s 2009 review.

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News Release
Friday, March 9, 2012

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned this week that more than 35 imported skin creams, antiseptic soaps and anti-aging lotions have recently been tied to mercury poisoning that in some instances sent users to the hospital.  

 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, February 27, 2012

Three common environmental chemicals - lead, organophosphate pesticides and methyl mercury - may have effects on children's IQ in the overall population.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The federal Environmental Protection Agency pressed ahead today in its effort to reduce Americans’ exposure to hazardous chemicals, announcing a long-awaited new standard to reduce the amount of mercury emissions allowed from power plants in the U.S.

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Key Issues:
News Release
Monday, November 23, 2009

Laboratory tests commissioned by EWG have detected as many as 232 toxic chemicals in cord blood samples collected from 10 minority newborns. Notably these tests show, for the first time, bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic component and synthetic estrogen, in umbilical cord blood of American infants.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Thursday, June 4, 2009

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) might save you money, but they contain mercury.  

Soon the state of Maine will have ample recycling thanks to a new law.  Maine Public Radio reported today that a law that would require any retailer that sells CFLs to take them back for recycling. 

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Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A landmark study by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and universities in the U.S. and Australia has, for the first time, documented how escalating mercury-laden air emissions, chiefly from coal-fired electrical power plants in Asia, are being transformed into methylmercury, a potent neurotoxin that is increasingly polluting the North Pacific Ocean and contaminating tuna, swordfish and other popular seafood.

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News Release
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The topic of mercury and fish is once again in the news. This time it was prompted by public comments submitted to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) about its controversial (hurry-up-and-get-it-out-before-George-leaves) mercury report, which largely concludes that the toxic effects of mercury in fish are mostly overcome by the beneficial fats in fish. Here at EWG an eyebrow or two (OK, more than that) were raised when these "findings" were released.

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Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Friday, January 30, 2009

Mercury was on my mind a lot last December, but imagine my surprise to find out it was also in my medicine cabinet!

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Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Friday, January 2, 2009

An EWG investigation called “Lighten Up in ‘09” has identified seven compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb lines that trump the rest, with much lower levels of the toxic chemical mercury and lifespans of up to 18,000 hours – dramatically longer than the federal government’s outdated Energy Star standards.

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News Release
Saturday, December 27, 2008

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs uses 75 percent less energy than its incandescent counterpart, lasts up to 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb. But all CFL bulbs aren't equal. Some have lower mercury content than others, and some last much longer. Unfortunately, you can't tell the best of the best by their labels - or the U.S. government Energy Star logo. Some Energy Star labelled bulbs could not be legally sold in Europe due to excessive mercury content.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, December 12, 2008

 

The Honorable Stephen L. Johnson
Administrator Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W..
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Johnson:

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Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Friday, December 12, 2008

Documents obtained by EWG show that officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are pressing to reverse the agency’s current recommendations that pregnant women and children limit their seafood consumption due to risks of exposure to mercury – an extremely harmful neurotoxin found at high levels in a number of popular seafood species such as tuna, swordfish and mackerel.

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News Release

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