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Your Environment. Your Health.

Mercury in Seafood

Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH)

photo of fish in a net

January 14, 2013

To eat fish or not to eat fish? This podcast explains why some types of fish contain high levels of mercury and how to find low-mercury seafood for your family to enjoy.


Celia Chen, Ph.D.

Celia Chen, Ph.D., is research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College. She is a principal investigator in the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program for both a scientific project on mercury fate in aquatic ecosystems and the Research Translation Core. She is an ecotoxicologist whose research over the last 17 years has focused on the fate and effects of metal contaminants in aquatic food webs both in freshwater and estuarine ecosystems. She conducts metal bioaccumulation and toxicity studies in the laboratory and investigates mercury bioaccumulation and trophic transfer in lakes and estuaries throughout the northeastern United States. She has also led a collaboration of scientists and stakeholders (Coastal and Marine Mercury Research Collaborative, C-MERC) in producing a series of papers and a synthesis of mercury research in marine ecosystems available from the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program website .

For More Information

Watch a 12-minute video about mercury in seafood and explore other resources at this website from the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program.

NIEHS Mercury Page
NIEHS’s hub of information on mercury in seafood. Find ongoing studies, general information, educator resources, and more.

What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish
Advice and FAQ’s from the EPA and FDA.

Mercury Calculator
Estimate your personal mercury exposure based on your body and diet using this tool developed by the EPA and FDA.

The Science of Food: Bio Build-Up
Teachers: use this fun activity to explore the concept of bioaccumulation with students in grades 3-8.

Dartmouth Superfund Research Program
Learn about mercury, arsenic, and other toxic metals being investigated at the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program.


Driscoll CT, Han YJ, Chen CY, Evers DC, Lambert KF, Holsen T, Kamman NC, Munson R. 2007. Mercury contamination in forest and freshwater ecosystems in the northeastern united states. Bioscience 57:17-28. DOI:  .

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