How does mercury affect an unborn baby?
Methylmercury (MeHg) is an organic form of mercury that can damage the developing brains of human fetuses. Women who consume methylmercury during pregnancy can bear children who have neurological issues because methylmercury has toxic effects on the nervous system during embryonic development.
How much mercury is dangerous in pregnancy?
Some types of fish contain high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to the developing fetus. Pregnant women should: Limit to one serve (150g) per fortnight – billfish (swordfish, broadbill and marlin) and shark (flake), with no other fish eaten in that fortnight.
What happens if baby has too much mercury?
Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune system. High levels of methylmercury in the bloodstream of unborn babies and young children may harm the developing nervous system, making the child less able to think and learn.
Can too much mercury cause miscarriage?
Studies in animal models and accidental poisoning in humans revealed that lead, cadmium and mercury resulted in miscarriages stillbirth and even fetal malformation .
What does mercury do to a baby’s brain?
Mercury is concentrated in the brain of the developing fetus because the metal is absorbed quickly and is not excreted efficiently. Children exposed to mercury may be born with symptoms resembling cerebral palsy, spasticity and other movement abnormalities, convulsions, visual problems and abnormal reflexes.
How do you know if you have mercury poisoning while pregnant?
Blood and hair can be tested to determine exposure to methylmercury. Blood tests are good for detecting methylmercury right after exposure occurs. Hair testing may be able to detect ongoing (chronic) mercury exposure.
What is the safe limit for mercury?
The FDA has set a limit of 1 part per million of mercury in fish for human consumption. Although most fish species contain mercury concentrations of 0.01 to 0.5 ppm, some predator fish, particularly swordfish, shark, and some species of large tuna exceed this limit.
What happens if you eat fish high in mercury when pregnant?
If you regularly eat fish high in mercury, the substance can accumulate in your bloodstream over time. Too much mercury in your bloodstream could damage your baby’s developing brain and nervous system.
How many babies are affected by mercury?
The agency doubled its estimate, equivalent to 630,000 of the 4 million babies born each year, because recent research has shown that mercury tends to concentrate in the blood in the umbilical cord of pregnant women.
How does mercury affect the human body?
Human health effects of mercury
Mercury and its compounds affect the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver and can disturb immune processes; cause tremors, impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, insomnia and emotional instability.