In this report
Overview
Fish Q & A
Lower-mercury choices
How much tuna is safe?
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How much tuna is safe?

Last reviewed: January 2011
A can of tuna made into a question mark
Illustration by Gary Neill

The FDA and EPA say that women of childbearing age and young children may eat up to 12 ounces a week of light tuna or other “low in mercury” seafood, including, within that limit, up to 6 ounces per week of white tuna. Because our analysis of FDA data found occasional high mercury levels in light tuna, our fish-safety experts suggest a more cautious approach. Their advice, below, assumes that no other mercury-containing seafood will be eaten during the same week.

Who Limit per week
Children less than 45 pounds
4 ounces or less of light tuna or 1.5 ounces or less of white (albacore) tuna, depending on the child’s weight. (Get more details on children and tuna consumption.)
Children 45 pounds or more
About 4 to 12.5 ounces of light tuna or 1.5 to 4 ounces of white tuna, depending on the child’s weight.
Pregnant women
To be careful, avoid canned tuna. Choose a low-mercury fish instead.
Women of childbearing age
About 12.5 ounces of light tuna or 4 ounces of white tuna.
Men and older women
About 14.5 ounces of light tuna or about 5 ounces of white tuna per week should be OK, but people who eat fish more often would be prudent to stick to low-mercury types.