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High Risk Groups

Mercury has the greatest effect on the growing body because the brain and nervous system is still developing. For this reason, some groups may be at a greater risk than others.

These at-risk groups include:
  • Babies
  • Children under 14
  • Women who are nursing
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Women who plan to become pregnant

These groups should be particularly careful about the types and amounts of fish they eat from local waters. If you are in one of these groups, it is recommended that you follow the advice below:

  • Eat only one meal of freshwater fish each week from a waterbody without an advisory.
  • DO NOT eat any freshwater fish where there is an advisory (Advisories include: do not eat any, one meal a week, and/or one meal a month).  Click here to see a table of all the fish advisories.
  • DO NOT eat any king mackerel, shark, swordfish, tilefish, or cobia.

Health Notes for Adults

  • Too much consumption of fish with high levels of mercury may lead to heart diseases in adults.
  • Health effects of mercury in adults can usually be corrected if a person stops eating fish that contain high levels of mercury.
  • If you are concerned about the amount of mercury in your body, see your doctor.