mercury poisoning

Can you get mercury poisoning from fish?

Yes, certain types of fish contain methylmercury, which is present in the water where fish live. Methylmercury is a type of organic mercury that is dangerous to the human body if you consume large amounts of it. Limited to moderate amounts of mercury from fish are OK for humans to consume.

Fish and shellfish that have high levels of mercury include:

  • Shark.
  • King mackerel.
  • Swordfish.
  • Orange roughy.
  • Tuna.
  • Pike.
  • Walleye.
  • Bass.

The FDA recommends that people who are pregnant or breastfeeding (chestfeeding) avoid or limit the amount of fish in their diet that contains high levels of mercury.

Can you get mercury poisoning from amalgam fillings?

Older amalgam dental fillings (silver fillings) contain about 50% mercury (elemental) by weight along with other metals like silver, tin and copper. If you have older amalgam fillings in your mouth, you’re at an increased risk of mercury exposure and poisoning.

Symptoms of mercury exposure from amalgam fillings are the same as symptoms of elemental mercury poisoning, with a metallic taste in your mouth being the primary symptom.

If your fillings aren’t damaged and you don’t have tooth decay underneath your amalgam filling, you don’t have to replace your amalgam fillings with a safer alternative immediately. If you have damaged amalgam fillings, talk with your dentist about replacing those fillings because you’re at a greater risk of mercury exposure.

A note from Udenz

Each person’s body will react to mercury exposure differently. Sometimes symptoms will be mild and other times, they could be life-threatening. In any case, if you had mercury exposure, whether it be a small or large amount, contact your healthcare provider to talk with an expert. You don’t need to be in an emergency to call the helpline to have your questions answered about poisoning and poison prevention.

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