Scientists say chickens feeding on polluted soil is the root cause of the problem.
French health officials have reiterated their warning to millions of residents in the Île de France region not to eat eggs from domestic cooperatives. The warning comes after a new study confirmed that soil and eggs are permanently contaminated with chemicals and toxins.
The first precautionary warning for some areas of the region came in February 2022. After initial investigation, this precaution was expanded to the entire region in May 2023. The results of that study were confirmed and released this week, leading the authority to reaffirm its warning.
It consists of the 410 municipalities that make up the urban area of Paris (including Paris, all the municipalities of Seine-Saint-Denis, some municipalities of Hauts-de-Seine, Val-de-Marne, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Essonne and Val-d’Oise).
Tests conducted by the Toxicowatch Foundation in 2022 found very high levels of dioxin in home backyards Cock Copies near Europe’s largest waste incinerator, located in Paris. Authorities have now conducted their own research into 25 hen houses and confirmed their initial warning.
There’s omnipresent [widespread] Contamination of soil and eggs of domestic poultry farms in Paris and the inner suburbs by persistent organic pollutants [POPs]”Such as dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (known as PFAS or forever chemicals),” the agency explained in a press release.
What are PFAS or ‘Forever Chemicals’?
Per- or poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) is the name given to thousands of complex man-made chemicals, They are used in everything from non-stick frying pans to cosmetics, food packaging and firefighting foam.
They have been a threat to public health since the 1950s when the number of uses, names, and applications of this group of chemicals began to increase rapidly.
PFAS have been known to last forever chemicals Because they persist in the environment for an incredibly long time.
These contain chains of linked carbon and fluorine atoms. Because this carbon to fluorine bond is one of the strongest, some chemicals will not break down for over 1,000 years.
Why are forever chemicals dangerous?
According to the French health authority, regular consumption “several times a week for several years” has “potential endocrine disrupting effects that could trigger chronic diseases and affect the development of reproductive and immune functions”.
Previous research has linked PFAS to a weakened response to vaccines and an increased risk of certain types of cancer, particularly kidney and testicular cancer.
Why is the warning only for domestic eggs?
The French health authority says that since the new study only examined non-professional hen houses, its recommendations can only apply to them.
“Chickens are generally kept for longer periods of time than on professional farms, where the goal is to achieve maximum yield,” it says. “The accumulation of persistent organic pollutants increases with duration of exposure. For example, a hen that has been in a hen house for several years is more likely to be contaminated than a hen that has only been there for a few months.”
It also states that commercial eggs are subject to scrutiny to ensure that they comply european Regulations.
What should be done to deal with the chemicals in eggs forever?
In one of ToxicoWatch’s latest biomonitoring reports, the Dutch foundation says that “Banning backyard consumption Cock Eggs, as a response to the results of biomonitoring studies on dioxin emissions, are not addressing the real cause of dioxin pollution.
It says backyard chickens forage outside in the soil, eating plants and insects. Therefore, it is not a problem of eggs, but of environmental pollution from toxic industrial emissions in our environment.
It states: “Further research is needed to understand how sources of dioxin and PFAS contamination can be reduced as a sustainable solution to the toxic load in the environment by realistically sound management for the benefit of human and environmental health.” “