5 myths about mercury in Madre de Dios

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A new study found unsafe amounts of mercury in fish and people in Puerto Maldonado, the capital of Peru’s southeastern Madre de Dios Region. Average mercury levels in nine of the 15 most commonly consumed fish species were above the limit recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Farmed fish had the lowest levels, according to Luis Fernández of the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Global Ecology Program at Stanford University in the United States, who led the study.

Seventy-eight percent of adults tested in Puerto Maldonado had levels that were more than twice the recommended limit for humans. The highest levels – three times the recommended threshold – were found in women of childbearing age. That is especially alarming, because mercury can damage the developing fetus’ neurological system.
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