I wanted to direct my readers to an article, Prenatal Mercury and Autism written by Steven Novella at Science-Based Medicine. If you, like me, are a skeptic and a fan of what’s what in the world of health, then you should probably be reading that site on a regular basis. Also, if you’re a “think you’re a skeptic, really a conspiracy theorist nutjob who is sure that Monsanto flew planes into the World Trade Center to ensure that oil in Iraq would be used to create a strain of wheat that will give cancer intentionally to farmers to hide the fact that mercury killed Kennedy”, you should also read this site because it has a thing you’re missing from your internet adventures: facts. But I digress.
The article is an explanation of Autism Spectrum Disorder Phenotypes and Prenatal Exposure to Methylmercury. The article brings much to the table, starting with providing an understanding of what “toxic” means (and there’s much more to it than “bad for you kill your face never touch”), moving through an explanation of methylmercury (that’s the mercury that we ingest from fish and why fish have mercury in them to begin with) and then further into the details of the study proper.
Obviously, the key point in the article is that we should not needlessly fear the yummy sea creatures so long as we approach the eating of their delicious bodies with a bit of care. But another quite important thing to take away from this is that first section. Those who talk about Evil Chemicals get a pass because they say things like, “So, what, you think you can just drink a vial of mercury and live ZOMG?” Of course not. We know that mercury at that level is potentially fatal. That doesn’t mean that any amount of it is fatal, or even harmful. And those who talk of Evil Chemicals often seem to fail in the understanding that our bodies are constructed entirely of evil chemicals, all of which can (in the right doses) cause illness, injury, or death.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Far more dangerous than pregnancy sushi.