According to this page https://www.livestrong.com/article/550938-health-risks-of-eating-sardines/

In the 'Concern About Sardines' Mercury Content' section

The FDA recommends a weekly intake of two to three servings of sardines, or 8 to 12 ounces for adults

12 ounces is ~340g

In the 'Canned Sardines' Health Risks' section mentions this:

The only potential health risk of eating sardines may not come from the fish itself, but the can it's in. Cans can contain a toxic chemical, bisphenol A, known as BPA.

Despite concerns about its link to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, BPA is still used in food cans in America. According to the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), USDA warns that toxins in can linings can migrate to the food inside.

In the CEH study in 2017, 38 percent of cans tested used BPA, and another 19 percent contained toxic PVC in the linings. Lab studies found BPA exposure may cause reproductive disorders, genetic damage and possibly increase the risk of breast cancer.

Which I don't know if this can be counterproductive, regarding to mercury or BPA, for an adult if eating at most 12 ounces of canned sardines weekly for 2 months?

  • Would something change if now it's for 6 months? I said 2 months because I thought this Covid-19 thing would end in ~2 months. Mar 26, 2020 at 15:38
  • 1
    It would still be considered safe if someone eats them for six months in regard to mercury, BPA, and PVC, according to current FDA guidelines. Some researchers believe that there may be health risks associated with regular consumption of BPA and PVC, but cans without those linings exist. The main concern with eating up to 12 ounces of canned sardines for six months would be the high cholesterol content (linked to heart disease and stroke). Medical scientists believe that consuming small amounts of cholesterol is safe and unavoidable, but recommends that people limit their cholesterol intake.
    – Galactic
    Mar 26, 2020 at 23:08
  • @galactic_analyzer oh I see, so then the problem would rely on the high cholesterol content. Alright thanks! Mar 27, 2020 at 3:13
  • that Covid-19 is gonna last for 12 to 18 months.. meh Mar 30, 2020 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


Like you mentioned, 12 ounces of sardines a week fits under the FDA's guidelines, so it should not be harmful to the adult that you described. Sardines contain a lot less mercury than many other fish species1.

Second of all, not all cans contain BPA or PVC. Even in cans that do contain BPA or PVC, the FDA considers them safe at low levels of exposure2,3. However, some researchers mentioned health concerns related to BPA and PVC that have not yet been fully researched2,4. Those concerned about exposure to BPA or PVC can purchase cans that do not contain the compound.

It is considered safe by the FDA to consume up to 12 ounces of canned sardines a week for a period of two months according to current guidelines.

  1. https://www.fda.gov/food/seafood-guidance-documents-regulatory-information/fish-and-fishery-products-hazards-and-controls
  2. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/bisphenol-bpa
  3. https://www.packaginglaw.com/ask-an-attorney/pvc-permitted-use-food-contact-articles
  4. https://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/chemicals-and-contaminants/polyvinyl-chloride-pvc
  • Thank you for your answer :) Mar 26, 2020 at 15:39
  • @America Seems like after a month you might accept this answer?
    – Carey Gregory
    May 3, 2020 at 19:44
  • @CareyGregory I prefer not to accept the answers to my questions, in general. That's because I think that when it's about medical sciences or related, there's nothing 'fixed', things change for better or for worse. So this sustained answer is now, within a year? maybe still the same, maybe nop, who knows. May 4, 2020 at 20:39

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