(03) 9848 4262


(03) 9848 4262


Fertility IVF Specialist

Methyl Mercury

Is a metal that can be found in certain fish. The methylmercury in these fish can be harmful to your unborn baby if you eat these fish. 

Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution. It falls from the air and can get into surface water, accumulating in streams and oceans. 

Bacteria in the water cause chemical changes that transform mercury into methylmercury, which can be toxic. 

Fish absorb methylmercury as they feed on aquatic organisms.

Mmethylmercury is in all fish but larger fish that have lived longer have the highest levels of methylmercury because they've had more time to accumulate it. Eating certain types of fish I,e, large fish leads to the accumulation of methylmercury in your body and then can pass from your blood stream to your unborn child.

Methylmercury is removed from the body naturally, but it may take over a year for the levels to drop to a safe level. Thus, it may be present in a woman even before she becomes pregnant. This is one of the reasons that women who are trying to become pregnant should also avoid eating certain types of fish.

Methylmercury can harm the unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system.

If you are pregnant or try to become pregnant or nursing avoid

  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • King mackerel
  • Shark
  • Marlin

It's safe to eat other cooked fish or seafood as long as you

You can eat up to 300 grams (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. 

Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are: 

  • Shrimp
  • Canned light tuna
  • Salmon
  • Pollock
  • Catfish

Another commonly eaten fish, white tuna, has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 170 grams (one average meal) of white tuna per week. This page is under construction.

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