Mercury Tribal Health

  • Unfortunately, both wild-caught and store-bought fish can contain mercury and/or other PCBs chemical contaminations.
  • Here is an important article on farm-raised salmon vs wild caught
  • CIEA offers a free “Mercury Health: Information in the Environment and Human Body” training to health care clinics, WIC programs, at community events and for Tribal leadership throughout California. CIEA created the training materials and the presentation can be from 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on need and time constraints.
  • All of our training includes copies of state and federal issued fish advisory materials, and CIEA’s materials developed to address the educational needs of high-risk communities and pregnant women, developing fetuses, and children.  Materials include our “Eating Fish Safely” brochures, “Mercury Health Toolkit” and local fish advisory information.
  • In June 2011, CIEA, the Native American Health Center, Oakland, and the Women, Infants and Children Clinic created the first GC-30 general families nutrition course with assistance from the California Department of Public Health.  The “Making Healthy Fish Choices” curriculum teaches families about fish being an important food source for all family members to eat. The curriculum also teaches that not all fish are healthy since some are high in toxins like mercury and PCBs.
  • Eating fish high in mercury can cause permanent learning disabilities when exposed through pregnant mothers or an increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life if exposed while young. The “Making Healthy Fish Choices” curriculum informs WIC families about the fish options one can select using their WIC vouchers and how to eat safe locally caught fish. This curriculum is the first in the nation and shows the benefits of eating fish low in mercury and PCBs. Our curriculum is regionally customizable that folxs can integrate information about the fish eaten locally and regional cultural information into the module.
  • Is there a reason why there is a big gap between these two?
  • In 2013, CIEA and the Oakland NAHC-WIC clinic piloted the new curriculum in a GC 30 format in Oakland over a 3-month period. It was a favored course and clients asked for a further extension. We extended the course for an additional 2 months and in total we reached 1350 families.
  • In 2014, through a grant with the California Environmental Protection Agency, CIEA has partnered with the Karuk Tribe’s Natural Resources Department to bring the “Making Healthy Fish Choices” program and curriculum to Klamath. CIEA has worked closely with Tribes in the Klamath Region, who have confirmed that this new WIC curriculum on fish consumption would work well with existing and upcoming programs to promote traditional foods in the region.
  • We need something about the current work we are doing through BACWA (Bay Area Clean Water Agencies). Maybe get something from Sherri? I think there might be other info before that that could be included.
  • To receive more information about the curriculum, the program, evaluation results, WIC staff training, or to become a WIC Program Partner, please contact Sherri at sherri@cieaweb.org, or call us at 510 848-2043. (We are going to have to ask Sherri who else to include for contact. I don’t think Lauren works for CIEA anymore.)
  • WIC posted the new Curriculum! We look forward to working towards statewide adoption with your clinic.