Fish and seafood can be an important part of a balanced diet for pregnant
women and those of childbearing age who may become pregnant. Indeed low
consumption of fish has been found to be a strong risk factor for preterm
delivery and low birth weight. Although the mercury levels found in most
commonly eaten fish and seafood are usually safe the mercury levels found
in several predator fish (fish that eat other fish) may be above
Fish is the usual source
of methylmercury in the U.S. diet . However, in other parts of
the world alcohol, fruit, brown bread, sunflower
oil, some “health foods,” herbal teas, and rice
may also be sources of methylmercury in the diet.
This online calculator will estimate your mercury intake for a variety of
fish and seafood, or you can enter the mercury level of the food directly
if it is not included in the list.
For state and local environmental programs and departments of health fish
See Fish Consumption Advisories
1. Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2010). U.S. Food and
2. Dietary predictors of maternal prenatal blood mercury levels in the ALSPAC
birth cohort study.
Golding J, Steer CD, Hibbeln JR, Emmett PM, Lowery T, Jones R.
Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Oct;121(10):1214-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1206115. Epub
2013 Jun 26.
3. Barrett JR.Rice is a significant source of methylmercury: research in china
Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Sep;118(9):a398. doi: 10.1289/ehp.118-a398a. No
4. Li P, et. al., Rice consumption contributes to low level methylmercury
exposure in southern China.
Environ Int. 2012 Nov 15;49:18-23. PMID: 22944358
5. What is a Serving? American Heart Association
6. An Important Message for Pregnant Women and Women of Childbearing Age Who May
Become Pregnant About the Risks of Mercury in Fish U.S. Food and Drug
Statewide Health Advisory and Guidleines for Eating Fish
From Californias Lakes and Reservoirs Without Site specific Advice
California Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Health
Hazard Assessmen July 2013