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The Hidden Chemicals in Your Home

Mercury

Coal-burning manufacturing plants emit this chemical into the air; it then pollutes the water and wildlife that live there. So, if you eat a lot of fish (three or more servings a week), you may have mercury overload. In fact, one in five women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her blood to cause developmental problems in her baby, or miscarriage, according to a recent study. Mercury may also cause fatigue, headaches, and trouble concentrating.

Bottom line: Limit fish intake to about two six-ounce servings a week. Large fish absorb the most mercury, so avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, and have white albacore tuna no more than once a week. Your best bets: shrimp, salmon, and catfish. If you have symptoms, ask your doctor to check your mercury level; side effects usually improve once levels are lowered.

 

 

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