Marine Pollution Bulletin
Total mercury (Hg) was measured in coastal fishes from Southern New England (RI, USA), and Hg exposure was estimated for anglers and family members that consumed these resources. Fish Hg was positively related to total length (n = 2028 across 7 fish species), and interspecies differences were evident among legally harvestable fish. Many recreational anglers and their families experienced excessively high Hg exposure rates, which was attributed to the enriched Hg content of frequently consumed fishes. Specifically, 51.5% of participants in this study had Hg exposures exceeding the US EPA reference dose, including 50.0% of women of childbearing years. These results are noteworthy given that Hg neurotoxicity occurs in adults and children from direct and prenatal low-dose exposure. Moreover, this study underscores the need for geographic-specific research that accounts for small-scale spatial variations in fish Hg and dietary habits of at-risk human populations.
Taylor, D., & Williamson, P. (2017). Mercury contamination in Southern New England coastal fisheries and dietary habits of recreational anglers and their families: Implications to human health and issuance of consumption advisories. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 114 (1), 144-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.08.072
National Institute of General Medical Sciences