Policy Forum

Balancing Fish Consumption Benefits with Mercury Exposure

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Science  12 Dec 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5345, pp. 1904-1905
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5345.1904

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Risk assessments relying on the U.S. EPA reference dose (RfD) for methylmercury exposure have led to restrictive fish consumption advisories in many states. These advisories fail to account for the benefits associated with fish consumption. Although the use of an RfD is valuable in efforts to regulate industrial emissions, food consumption advice should occur within a broader context that includes consideration of both risks and benefits.