Local News

High Mercury Levels Found in Perch, Crappie

Posted April 7, 2008 5:40 p.m. EDT

— State health officials issued warnings Monday about elevated levels of mercury found in two types of freshwater fish in southeastern North Carolina.

Yellow perch caught south and east of Interstate 85 and black crappie caught south and east of Interstate 95 have been found to contain high amounts of the toxic chemical.

Pregnant women and children should avoid eating the two fish altogether and others should limit their consumption to no more than once a week, officials said.

Mercury affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, especially in unborn babies and young children. Prenatal mercury exposure can affect the way children think, learn and solve problems later in life. Adverse health effects can also occur in adults at much higher doses.