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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Taiwan's dioxin-rich chickens

22nd June 2010

Taiwanese free-range chickens produce eggs with almost six times the amount of dioxins found in caged chickens.


A Taiwanese team of researchers examined eggs from both free-range and caged hens, looking specifically dioxins such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs).

Pao-Chi Liao, of the Environmental and Occupational Health department at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, said that because Taiwanese free-range hens spent most of their lives outside, they had a greater chance of being exposed to contaminants from the environment.

A full 17% of the free-range eggs also exceeded European Community limits.

Long-term exposure to dioxins causes cancer, because the molecules build up in people's fatty tissues.

Dioxins are the unintentional product of industrial processes such as paper bleaching and pesticide manufacture.

Burning household rubbish and incinerating other waste products also releases dioxins into the environment, which are mainly absorbed by organisms, as well as into soil and sediment.

People who are exposed to a lot of dioxins also incur immune and reproductive damage as a result.

The researchers said that Taiwan was heavily populated and industrialised, and that many of the dioxins came from municipal incinerators.

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