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The Green Life: Mercury Awareness Week: Know Your Fish

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December 05, 2011

Mercury Awareness Week: Know Your Fish

Bluefin tunaDuring Mercury Awareness Week, our tips will help you keep the toxic stuff out of your life.

Tip #1: Know your seafood. 

Most mercury poisoning happens by eating contaminated sea animals, whose flesh absorbs the air pollution brought down by rain. How does all that muck get into the air? Coal-fired power plants are America’s biggest source of mercury pollution, spewing dozens of tons of the illness-causing element every year. To keep it off your plate, consult this chart (PDF) to learn which kinds of fish are safe — and which aren’t. A good rule of thumb: The bigger and older the animal, the more likely it is to be contaminated. So turn away tuna and swordfish in favor of sardines or clams. 

Sushi aficionados: Check the Sierra Club’s site this Thursday, when we’ll be launching a tool to help you gauge which types of sushi will help keep your body mercury-free.

Tip #2: Get activist.

Tip #3: Power down.

Tip #4: Get tested.

Tell us: How do you keep mercury out of your life?

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