The risks of mercury from fish remain a significant health concern – signs are often posted around New England lakes warning anglers not to eat their catch – but the word doesn’t always get out.
Now, researchers are getting creative in how to educate the public about the source and dangers of mercury in fish – and which fish is safe to eat and in what doses.
Yes, it can be nuanced but that is why the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth have produced a short, ten minute film, www.source2seafood.org, that follows the journey of mercury from coal-fired power plants to the fish on consumers’ plates, and discusses which species of fish contains the least and the most mercury. It also covers the overall health benefits of eating fish, and the importance of reducing human-generated mercury in the environment.
On Friday, Sept. 7, the film will be shown at 4 p.m. in the Francois Xavier Bagnoud Building of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) at 651 Huntington Avenue in Boston, room G-12. The film is folksy, informative and deconstructs much of the confusion about what people – and especially children – should be eating. Members of the public can attend for free.
“Consumers need to know why they should still eat fish, understand why mercury is in our seafood, and learn what we can do to prevent mercury from entering our environment,” said Bruce Stanton, PhD, director of the toxic metals program and a professor of physiology at the Geisel School.
After the film’s showing, shown in collaboration with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, there will be a panel discussion with researchers, academics and those working to reduce mercury in the environment.
Another showing will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, at the Red River Theatres, 11 South Main Street in Concord, NH.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences gave a grant to the Geisel School to help produce the film.
For more information on Dartmouth’s work with toxic metals, go to: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~toxmetal/
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