General Question

kam's avatar

Are mercury levels in typical sushi actually dangerous?

Asked by kam (3points) February 13th, 2010

Keep hearing about mercury in fish. Our kids love sushi. Could it really be dangerous for them?

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8 Answers

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I would imagine no more so than any other fish.

TexasDude's avatar

I wouldn’t worry about it, but your mileage may vary.

janbb's avatar

I would say if it’s a mercury high fish like tuna, it could be a problem depending on how often they eat it. A few times a month, I wouldn’t worry about it; I wouldn’t give it to them several times a week.


Only if you eat a lot of raw fish in sushi, like platefuls of it, every week. I would be more concerned with the danger of food poisoning from harmful bacteria that is sometimes found in sushi, than mercury. That’s why sushi is always served with wasabi mustard, soy sauce, and ginger. The three are supposed to “minimize” or destroy any harmful pathogens in raw fish or other seafood. I grew up eating sushi all the time—no mercury poisoning yet. Lol. It’s certainly healthier for your kids than a constant diet of McDonalds.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Google up some stats on the Japanese because they eat more raw fish than any other people on the planet.

SeventhSense's avatar

From the FDA site:

By following these 3 recommendations for selecting and eating fish or shellfish,
women and young children will receive the benefits of eating fish and shellfish and be confident that they have reduced their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury.

1. Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
2. Eat up to 12 ounces (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, and catfish.
* Another commonly eaten fish, albacore (“white”) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.
3. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don’t consume any other fish during that week.

Follow these same recommendations when feeding fish and shellfish to your young child, but serve smaller portions.

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