High levels of mercury exposure can threaten the health of pregnant women, and even more so the health of unborn babies. In large quantities, this highly poisonous substance can damage the lungs, nervous system, kidneys, vision and hearing. There are greater risks involved with fetuses and children than for adults. While in the womb, unborn babies can suffer severe damage to their nervous systems, which can sometimes result in miscarriages and still-born deaths. Surviving babies exposed to high levels of mercury can suffer brain damage, deafness, blindness and/or learning disabilities.
There are several hidden ways in which humans can be exposed to mercury without their knowledge. For starters, mercury exists naturally in the air we breathe as a result of industrial pollutants being expelled into the air through such processes as burning waste and coal. These pollutants eventually fall out of the atmosphere and accumulate in oceans, rivers, lakes, etc.
Fish then absorb the mercury into their bodies, thus beginning a process called biomagnification, where mercury concentrations increase along the food chain as smaller species of fish are eaten by bigger species and the content of mercury is magnified. This is why is it so important to be cautious when eating certain fish, especially when pregnant.
Humans can be exposed to mercury in other ways via broken thermometers, dental fillings, batteries, broken fluorescent and high-intensity lightbulbs, as well as mercury liquid and vapour found in various work environments.
Fish is an excellent source of Omega-3 as well as an amazing low-fat protein source, but it is important to be weary of their mercury content, especially in larger fish species. This is why fish consumption, particularly for pregnant women, should be moderated. Larger species such as shark, king mackerel, swordfish, tuna and tilefish should be avoided altogether. The essential nutrients found in fish such as Omega-3, which is an extremely important nutrient when it comes to healthy fetal development and in achieving optimal wellness while pregnant, can be consumed in safer ways by taking a supplement such as PregnancyPlus Omega-3.