With childhood obesity on the rise, many parents are starting to pay closer attention to the food their kids eat on a daily basis – taking extra care with their pack lunches and inquiring about their cafeteria food. However, a new report has shown that trans fats and sugars aren’t the only unsavory elements parents need to worry about.

The EPA reports that mercury exposure can cause a variety of serious medical conditions. Because it is known to impair mental development, many researchers have focused on the dangers it poses for young children and pregnant women, WebMD states.

Yet, despite the risks it poses, the EPA notes that most people have trace amounts of mercury in their systems, “reflecting [its] widespread presence in the environment and people’s exposure through the consumption of fish and shellfish.”

According to a press release from The Mercury Policy Project – a consumer group dedicated to keeping mercury out of industrial processes and available goods –  canned tuna is the biggest culprit, as this seemingly innocuous sandwich filler is responsible for more than a third of mercury exposure.

The research, which involved taking 59 samples of canned tuna from across the country, led the coalition to issue a warning to parents, and a recommendation that they only serve tuna to their small children once a month.

Dr. Edward Groth III, report author and professor at Stony Brook University, explains that mercury levels vary widely in different types of fish, so people who eat seafood often simply need to do a bit of research to lower their risk of exposure to the element.

Individuals who are concerned about the harmful toxins they’ve been unwittingly exposed to can get tested at Longevity Centres of America. We offer detoxification services including intravenous chelation therapy as treatment for heavy metal poisoning and other toxicity issues.