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Side Effect of ‘Times’ Tuna Exposé

Medical mercury leaching.

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Seafood restaurants around town have felt the fallout since the Times reported that tuna from even Manhattan’s high-end sushi purveyors contains dangerous levels of mercury. (“All of a sudden, our business has fallen down 20 to 30 percent,” says Japonica owner Shingo Yonezawa. “It’s a nightmare. There’s a lot you can eat at sushi restaurants other than tuna.”) But one business is booming: mercury detox. “Not only did we get a rush of new patients, but our current patients asked to be rechecked,” says Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, who offers the treatment. Patients sit in armchairs while the chemical DMPS drips from an IV into their bloodstream to help draw out mercury. “Not all patients need IV,” Morrison says. “Some people can do oral chelation. Saunas work, too, but you have to take about five of them a week.” But not everyone’s buying the tuna hysteria. “It’s like when the government says smoking was bad,” says Felix Huang, manager at Gai, on the Upper West Side. “People still smoke.”

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