Alimentazione e inquinamento, i danni da mercurio nei bambini e in gravidanza

di Valentina Ierrobino 48

Bambino pappa

Dopo la notizia sulla morte della volpi artiche per inquinamento da mercurio, voglio approfondire con voi il tema dei danni provocati dal mercurio sull’uomo, ed in particolare sui bambini e le donne in gravidanza. Gli esperti sono concordi nell’affermare che il pesce contaminato dal metallo pesante ha ripercussioni sullo sviluppo del feto e sulle performance cognitive dei bambini piccoli.

Uno studio effettuato da ricercatori dell’Università di Granada, in Spagna, ha preso in esame 220 bambini e monitorato la quantità di pesce mangiato. Nel loro studio, pubblicato sul Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, si legge che “i bimbi che mangiano pesce più di tre volte la settimana, hanno peggiori performance cognitive rispetto agli altri”. Responsabile sarebbe proprio il mercurio contenuto nei pesci di grossa taglia pescati, come il pesce spada, il tonno e simili. Come ha spiegato Carmen Freire Warden, una delle studiose che ha preso in esame i 220 bambini con età compresa tra 0 e 4 anni

Il semplice fatto di agire durante le prime fasi della vita, in cui lo sviluppo è più delicato, pone a maggior rischio di conseguenze imprevedibili e lungo un arco di tempo lungo.

La dichiarazione tuttavia è stata definita “forte” dal docente di Pediatria dell’Università di Verona, Claudio Maffeis, che ha commentato che è sì importante agire quando i bambini sono molto piccoli e anche durante i nove mesi della gravidanza, ma che

È anche vero che viviamo in un ambiente inquinato, dove il numero di composti con un effetto negativo possibile sulla nostra salute è elevatissimo; ed è altrettanto noto che i pesci di grossa taglia tendono ad accumulare uno di questi inquinanti, il mercurio appunto. Ma dire, sulla base di questi elementi ben noti, che l’esposizione al mercurio contenuto nel pesce basti a provocare danni allo sviluppo neurologico dei bambini è un’affermazione forte, che mi pare richieda prove ben maggiori: questi dati sono importanti, ma devono essere confermati prima che possano cambiare le raccomandazioni attuali in tema di consumo di pesce in gravidanza e nella prima infanzia.

L’esperto consiglia tuttavia di non mangiare pesce più di tre volte la settimana e di preferire il consumo del pesce azzurro o di pesci di piccola taglia che non vivono sul fondo, come le orate e i branzini. L’Italia ha intanto approvato il primo trattato per ridurre l’inquinamento da mercurio e altri studi sono in corso per capire quali sono gli effetti che provoca sull’uomo.

[Fonte: Il Corriere della Sera]

[Photo Credit | Thinkstock]

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