Eat the small fish!
So advises the head of the Linkou Chang Gong Hospital’s clinical toxicology department.
The Food and Drug Administration of Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare recommends pregnant women, women who plan to get pregnant and have children, and children under 6 years old should avoid eating “large fish”, in particular, sturgeon, shark, sailfish and oilfish. They contain methyl mercury, and eating such fish will cause methyl mercury poisoning. The absorption rate of methyl mercury in the stomach is 95%.
Pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant should not consume more than 35 grams to 70 grams of fish per week, and children under 6 years old should not consume more than 35 grams per week. For an adult weighing 50 kilograms consuming fish containing 1 pp of methyl mercury, he should not consume more than 65 grams of such contaminated fish per week.
A Yahoo Taiwan survey of 2,600 responses conducted on November 3-6, 2017, asked: Do you like to eat shark, sailfish, sturgeon and oilfish?
The survey shows that 12.1% eat such fish “very often”, 43.3% say they eat such fish “occasionally”, 36.2% say they “very seldom” eat such fish, 7.9% say they “do not eat” such fish, and 0.5% say “do not know”.
When asked: Do you know that these fish contain methyl mercury? 52.5% say “yes”, 28.0% say “only recently when the Food and Drug Administration of Taiwan pointed this out”, 18.4% say “not really”, and 1.1% have “no opinion”.
When asked: Do you know the health impact of methyl mercury? 4.5% say they “know very well”, 24.2% say they “know about it somewhat”, 43.0% say they “do not quite know about it”, 27.9% say they “absolutely do not know”, and 0.4% have “no opinion”.
When asked: Do you know that it is best for pregnant women and women who plan to get pregnant and young children not to eat such large fish? 49.4% say they “know”, 49.0% say they “do not know” and 1.6% have “no opinion”.
The survey involved 63.1% men and 36.9% women, and 58.6% live in northern Taiwan.
“Eat small fish to lessen methyl mercury poisoning!” is the advice of Taiwanese doctors.