Safe Fish Eating in 2010:
The Minnesota Department of Health has updated fish consumption guidelines for specific lakes where contaminants in fish have been measured. Lake- or river-specific guidelines are available online at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/fish/eating/sitespecific.html.
Overall, throughout the state, mercury continues to be the contaminant that is the reason for advice to eat fish less often. PCBs are a concern in some fish species in the major rivers and in Lake Superior. Statewide safe eating guidelines are available online at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/fish/eating/safeeating.html.
Young children, developing fetuses and breast-fed babies are at most risk, because small amounts of mercury can damage a brain that is just starting to form or grow. Too much mercury may affect a child’s behavior and lead to learning problems later in life. The first symptoms of adult mercury poisoning include incoordination and burning or tingling sensation in the fingers and toes. As mercury levels increase, your ability to walk, talk, see, and hear may all be affected in subtle ways. The consumption advice given by MDH is intended to keep the mercury in your body below levels that damage the nervous system.