Pregnant Women, Mercury and Fish Consumption Advisories

Assignment 2

Pregnant Women, Mercury and Fish Consumption Advisories

What to say and who to say it to?

We live in a world contaminated by many pollutants. Fetuses and newborn babies are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of mercury. Just as with lead, mercury has important neurotoxic effects and the effects of exposure at an early age can have lifetime health and cognition effects.

While the health effects of exposure to lead and mercury are straightforward, mercury poses an additional issue: the greatest source of mercury is in fish, but the proteins and fatty acids found in fish can also have an important positive effect on children’s cognitive development. So what information and advice should be given to pregnant women and the parents/guardians of newborns. Do you say that they should avoid all fish? Eat some types, but not too much? Don’t worry about it? Will advice vary according to the source of that advice?

Here are three websites that will provide some of the information on fish consumption and health. Note that they have links to additional resources.

Please answer the following questions:

What would you advise pregnant women regarding eating fish?

How would you get the word out about your recommendation?

What else would you like to know (what additional research)?

What other vulnerable populations have high mercury exposure from fish?

What else should we be doing about mercury exposures?

Why are these three websites chosen?

3 pages maximum, double spaced, 12-inch point, 1-inch margins.