West Virginia is one of four states where grocery stores do not warn consumers of the possible dangers of mercury in fish, even though this may lead to wiser choices, a new study argues.
Oceana, an environmental group, issued a report concluding that fewer than 20 percent of the nation's grocery stores are posting in-store warnings about mercury. West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and North Dakota all have zero in-store warnings, the report says, while Hawaii, the District of Columbia and Alaska are doing the best job of educating consumers.
Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause nerve damage in humans and is particularly dangerous to children, developing fetuses and women of childbearing age. Methylmercury, a form commonly found in fish, is the type most likely to cause health problems. Some studies suggest that coal-burning power plants are the major source of mercury emissions in the United States.