Dioxins, furans, and polychlorinated biphenyls in hen eggs – a new source of hazard for consumers?

Jadwiga Piskorska-Pliszczyńska 1 , Paweł Struciński 2 , Szczepan Mikołajczyk 1 , Sebastian Maszewski 1 , Jarosław Rachubik 1 , and Małgorzata Warenik-Bany 1
  • 1 Department of Radiobiology, National Veterinary Research Institute, 24-100 Puławy, Poland
  • 2 Department of Toxicology and Risk Assessment, National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene, 00-791 Warsaw, Poland


The paper presents the results of testing eggs for the content of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), determination of the sources that caused the presence of high concentrations of these compounds which exceeded the acceptable contamination levels, and assessment of consumer health risk caused by the consumption of eggs with excessive contents of investigated compounds. In about 9% of free range eggs and 17% of organic eggs, the content of PCDD/Fs was two- or threefold higher than the acceptable limits, and in some samples the concentration of investigated compounds exceeded the maximum concentration levels. Based on the profile of the compounds, it was confirmed in several cases that their main source was the soil or unsecured refuse. The consumers of eggs and meat produced under these conditions constitute the risk groups, and their dioxin and PCB intake may exceed toxicological reference values.

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