Mercury levels tested in Martin County women

STUART, Fla. (AP/WPTV) - Martin County health officials are launching a follow-up to a 2010 study that found elevated levels of mercury in Florida women.

According to a statement, the Florida Department of Health in Martin County is seeking hair samples from volunteers over the next few months.

Martin County participated in the 2010 study funded by a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials say a quarter of the women surveyed then showed elevated levels of mercury.

Health officials say most elevated mercury levels in humans are caused by eating fish that have high levels of the metal.

Mercury can damage the nervous systems of developing fetuses and young children.

Health officials say mercury levels can be reduced when people avoid eating shark, tuna, marlin, king mackerel, Chilean sea bass and swordfish.

Testing occurs Dec. 15-18

To participate, you must be between 18 and 49 years old and have lived in Martin County for at least a year.

Women who participated in the 2010 survey, who still meet the requirements for testing, are welcome to participate again.

Testing dates and times are below:

  • Dec. 15 and 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm
  • Dec. 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Participants need to schedule an appointment to be tested. To schedule a testing time, contact Kerry Matthews at (772) 260-4328.

AP Modified 2016