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The Egg Report
Contamination of chicken eggs from 17 countries by dioxins, PCBs and hexachlorobenzene
Joseph DiGangi, Ph.D., Jindřich Petrlík, M.S.
A study of free-range chicken eggs from 20 locations in 17 countries found high levels of contamination with dioxins and PCBs. Because these are highly toxic substances that can seriously harm human health and the environment, they earmarked for minimization and elimination where feasible by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). These pollutants along with hexachlorobenzene (HCB) are known as unintentional persistent organic pollutants (U- POPs) because they are created as unintentional by-products of certain combustion and industrial processes.
IPEN asked whether free-range chicken eggs might contain U-POPs if collected near waste incinerators, cement kilns, the metallurgical industry, waste dumps, and chemical production facilities involving chlorine because these facilities are known to be potential sources of U-POPs. These types of sites were investigated in five continents in the following countries: Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Tanzania, Turkey, Uruguay and USA. The study focused mainly on locations in developing countries and countries with economies in transition since POPs data in these countries are often lacking.