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Facebook | How to Tell If You’re Poisoning Yourself With Fish

March 30, 2009
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Facebook | How to Tell If You’re Poisoning Yourself With Fish.

At the right dose and duration of exposure, mercury can impair a person’s memory, ability to learn, and behavior; it can also damage the heart and immune system. Even in small quantities, this heavy metal can cause birth defects in fetuses exposed in the womb and in breast-fed newborns whose mothers’ milk is laced with it.

… scientists… admit that no one knows for sure what the threshold dose is that causes mercury to subtly poison cells in the brain and the liver, two organs where it tends to accumulate.

some people are more susceptible to mercury poisoning than others

A much larger effort is needed-perhaps a Human Envirogenomics Project?-to really understand the implications of toxins and how they work on genes. Austin and others believe that the only way to create meaningful envirogenomics data is through a large prospective cohort study, collecting DNA samples and information about exposure to a variety of environmental factors from half a million to a million participants and following them for a number of years. This study would require a huge investment of time and effort and could cost as much as $3 billion (close to the cost of the Human Genome Project), according to a report issued in 2007 by the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society at the Department of Health and Human Services.

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