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Work by Haley Engelberth, Kathleen Bell and Mario Teisl focus of BDN article

Pregnant women are urged to avoid fish high in methylmercury (MeHg) since it can limit the fetus’ brain development; however, fish is a good source of omega-3’s which promote brain development. Agencies issue consumption advisories to inform the public about the risks & benefits of eating fish; however, the difficulty in communicating both the risks & benefits lead readers of the advisory to inappropriately over-restrict their fish consumption. The authors worked with Maine CDC and UNE personnel to test the effectiveness of Maine’s advisory. Compared to nonreaders, they find the advisory increased women’s: knowledge of both the benefits and risks of consuming fish while pregnant, ability to differentiate fish by their MeHg content, and knowledge of specific low and high-MeHg fish. This suggests the advisory has the potential of reducing MeHg-related health risks while avoiding the drop in fish consumption show in other studies.


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