Canned albacore tuna purchased by U.S. schools contains more mercury than what government officials have reported, raising the risks for some tuna-loving kids, according to a new study from a coalition of advocacy groups.
Children who eat two medium servings of albacore, or white, tuna per week could be exposed to as much as six times the dose that federal guidelines consider safe, according to the report prepared for the Mercury Policy Project. It is the first study to test the mercury content of tuna brands purchased by schools.
The report recommends that all children avoid eating albacore tuna. In addition, it advises children under 55 pounds to limit light tuna to one meal once a month, and twice a month for children over that weight.
Since 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency have recommended that pregnant and nursing women, women who may become pregnant and young children limit canned white tuna to one six-ounce serving per week. Light tuna made from a species known as skipjack contains less mercury so the government recommends no more than 12 ounces per week.
But the advocates say those recommendations are too lax because their tests show that "customers who choose canned albacore tuna may fairly frequently get mercury levels more than twice the FDA's average for the species," the report says.
Light tuna, on the other hand, was slightly lower in mercury than FDA tests have shown.
For more, read the story at environmentalhealthnews.org.
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