Is There Mercury in My Sushi?

When people think about the potential hazards of fish, mercury is generally one of their biggest concerns. How much is too much? How much is in the average sushi meal? We want you to feel at ease when you dine on our fare at our Issaquah sushi restaurant, so we offer the following:

Mercury occurs naturally, with more of it released into the atmosphere each year from the Earth itself than from human pollutants. It is then absorbed by sea plants, which are eaten by herbivorous fish, which are eaten by carnivorous fish, and so on. The question should therefore not be how can you avoid mercury entirely, but rather how can you limit your intake and avoid the hazardous effects associated with it.

The good news is that most fish contain a mercury level of between 0.01 ppm to 0.5 ppm, which is well below the FDA minimum safety level of 1 ppm. This minimum safety level by itself is a conservative allowance, being far below the level present in fish that have historically been found to cause mercury poisoning. Many seafoods have also been observed counteract the negative impacts of mercury and purge such poisonous substances from your body. The bottom line is that, in moderation, the health benefits of fish far outweigh the potential drawbacks.