Confusion about mercury has some seafood lovers wondering if their favorite meals may be making them ill. We took a deep dive into the research to find out what's safe and what's not.
The Mercury Cycle
- Mercury is released into the atmosphere via volcanic eruptions, the burning of coal, and more.
- Rain or snow flushes the mercury into oceans, rivers, and lakes.
- Bacteria convert mercury into methylmercury — the most toxic form
- Methylmercury accumulates in microscopic plankton, which larger plankton feed on.
- Little fish eat the plankton and bigger fish eat the smaller ones, sending increasing amounts of mercury up the food chain until it reaches your table.