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article imageSushi lovers now have new smartphone app revealing mercury levels

By Lynn Herrmann     Dec 8, 2011 in Technology
San Francisco - Sushi lovers wondering about mercury levels in fish can now search for those levels with the new “Safe Sushi” smartphone app, thanks to the largest environmental advocacy group in the U.S.
The Sierra Club announced on Thursday its new Safe Sushi app for those “who love to eat sushi” yet want to be informed about the mercury levels found in fish, according to a news release. The environmental group’s announcement comes as it celebrates Mercury Awareness Week, December 5 thru 11.
The new sushi app can be used two ways: sushi novices may search by mercury levels (high, moderate, low) and connoisseurs of sushi can search by fish name. Safe Sushi is a free download in the Android Market and will become available for free in the App Store beginning December 16.
Especially threatening to young children and pregnant women, varying levels of mercury are found in most fish. The primary source of mercury is coal-fired power plants, annually producing massive amounts of mercury which enters rivers and streams, eventually making its way into the food web.
The Sierra Club notes
Safe Sushi is a practical tool for women of child-bearing age who want to educate themselves about the types of fish they should or should not consume.
The new app also includes a tutorial illustrating how the atmosphere absorbs mercury and moves throughout the food chain.
The American Pregnancy Association notes fish is a nutritious source for omega-3’s, lean protein and B vitamins, but it cautions against consuming more than three 6-oz servings per month of “high” mercury fish.
On APA’s list of highest mercury are marlin, orange roughy, tilefish, shark, swordfish, mackeral, as well as bigeye and Ahi tuna. Its high mercury fish list includes Chilean sea bass, bluefish, grouper, Spanish and Gulf mackeral, yellowfin tuna, and canned white albacore.
The Lower and Lowest mercury fish list includes striped and black bass, carp, cod, lobster, snapper, sea trout, catfish, crawfish, croaker, flounder, mullet, oysters and perch. The complete APA list can be found here.
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