Tuna used in school lunch programs had similar levels to grocery store brands. Teach your children to distinguish albacore tuna from light tuna, so they can completely avoid it in tuna salad sold at school or restaurants. Teach them to keep track of how often they eat light tuna, since more than twice a month is bad, or once a month for children under 55 lbs.
Children who love to eat tuna fish may be at greater risk of mercury poisoning than anyone has realized, finds the first study on mercury in school lunches published Wednesday by the Mercury Policy Project.
Analysis of the research results shows that frequent tuna eaters can be exposed to more than 40 times the current federal definition of safe mercury exposure, which report co-author Dr. Ned Groth calls “way out of date and not protective enough.”Canned tuna is by far the largest source of methylmercury in the U.S. diet and accounts for nearly one-third of Americans’ total exposure to this toxic mercury compound.
The report advises schools and parents not to serve any albacore tuna to kids and to limit consumption of light tuna to twice a month for most kids and only once a month for smaller children, under 55 pounds. [emphasis mine]
image from tuna...
On the subject of mercury poisoning, a study of the most contaminated people the the world, the Inuit of Canada, shows that both mercury (measured from cord blood at birth) and lead (measured in 11 year olds) are associated with ADHD.
And while this study only applies conclusively to this remote Inuit population, Muckle said the data show that ill effects from exposure to lead and mercury begin early.
"We can estimate from the Canadian Health survey in Canada that there’s about 10 percent of Canadian children between six to 11 years who might be exposed to levels greater than the ones where we saw negative effects," she said.
In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number is probably about five percent of the population. [emphasis mine]