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Mercury Contamination is Common in U.S. Stream Fish

By Keith D. Bishop, Clinical Nutritionist, B.Sc. Pharmacy  
August 27, 2009

  • Scientists found mercury contamination in every fish sampled from 291 U.S. freshwater streams from 1998 through 2005. 

Mercury contamination in rivers and streamsThe U.S. Government agency, U.S. Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.), study found:

  • More than ¼ of the fish contained mercury levels above Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations for humans 
  • More than two-thirds of the fish contained mercury levels above EPA recommendations for fish eating mammals 

The U.S.G.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stated: “This study show just how widespread mercury pollution has become in our air, watersheds, and many of our fish in freshwater streams.”

Mercury is a neurotoxin that enters the environment primarily as air pollution kicked into the atmosphere by industrial emissions and coal-fired power plants. The inorganic mercury then falls to the surface in water, snow and dust. The mercury then is converted by plants and bacteria in the more toxic form methylmercury. This more toxic type of mercury was found in the fish.

Previous studies of U.S. lakes and ocean waters found similar elevated mercury levels in the water and fish. This was the first study of streams in the U.S.

The highest levels of mercury were found in the coastal “blackwater” streams of North Carolina and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. High levels of methylmercury were also found in some streams in the West fed by areas where mining had taken place.

Mercury concentrates in animal tissue as it moves up the food chain, from algae, to insects to small fish and larger predators. Largemouth Bass had some of the highest levels of mercury since they are at the top of the in-stream food chain. Similar mercury concerns were found in largemouth bass in U.S. Lakes.

Toxic Water Solution
The main source of mercury contamination and mercury poisoning in humans comes from eating fish and shellfish.

If you have high levels of mercury in your body you should limit your consumption of larger species of stream, river, lake and ocean fish.

You should test your body for elevated levels of mercury with the Comprehensive Urine Elements Profile from Genova Diagnostics or the Heavy Metal Screening Test.

If you have elevated levels of the toxic metal you can take oral chelation products for a couple of months and lower the mercury levels.

Click on the following for your Mercury in Fish List.

You can decrease the need for coal-fired electric power plants by conserving electricity and switching to solar and wind generated power.

About the Author:
Keith D. Bishop, Clinical Nutritionist, B.Sc. Pharmacy, Health Coach has been helping his clients improve their health using natural products, tests and self care since 1998. He is the owner and author of Natural Care Solution,,, and

Call 405.919.1982 to schedule an appointment to customize your natural treatment program.


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Keith Bishop, Clincal Nutritionist, B.Sc. Pharmacy, Health Coach  

Keith D. Bishop
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B.Sc. Pharmacy
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