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Mercury in fish caught in the U.S.

The USA Today reported in August of 2009 that a government test of fish pulled from 300 different streams in the USA found mercury in every one.   One hundred percent. The research was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey.  27 percent of the fish had amounts of mercury exceeding EPA recommendations for safe eating.  Mercury is a particularly dangerous neurotoxin, usually finding its way to water from airborne particulates and the usual source is coal-fired power plants.  Other common sources are concrete plants and trash burning. 

The USGS expressed surprise in finding more poisoning in coastal plain streams than in urban areas.  Largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass usually had the highest levels of mercury contamination, while trout and channel catfish contamination levels were typically lower.  Recent studies have also reported high levels of human medications in our water, and the presence of high numbers of fish becoming gender-altered by exposure to human birth control medications.

A full listing of fish consumption advisories issued by 48 states is located at

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