Contaminated soil Cause of dioxin and PCB in chicken eggs
The dioxin and PCB contamination in chicken eggs from a company in the Münsterland region of Velen (Borken district) was apparently caused by soil contamination. The soil samples taken from the outdoor area by the State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection NRW (LANUV) have increased PCB and dioxin values, according to today's announcement by the district.
In mid-May, the Velen farm's own controls revealed increased levels of dioxins and PCBs in the eggs. Two stalls on the company premises were closed and a recall campaign was started for the eggs that had already been delivered because of the toxins they contained. Since then, the search for the causes of the contamination has been ongoing. The LANUV has now announced that the soil samples taken were "clearly contaminated" - in particular the samples from the covered run-out area directly next to the barn building.
Cause of the PCB and dioxin contamination of the soil a riddle Eggs are produced in the Velen operation based on conventional free-range farming. So it was suspected that the chickens came into contact with the toxins while pawing outdoors. The investigation of the soil samples has now confirmed this suspicion. This identifies the source of the pollution, but the cause of the soil contamination remains a mystery. According to the current press release from the district of Bork, further investigations of the company premises are now to be initiated "in order to determine the reason and the extent of the contamination." The "district veterinarians and the experts in the soil protection department of the district administration work hand in hand", reports the Borken district. Among other things, clues are also being investigated according to which the contamination in World War II was caused by military facilities. However, no contaminated areas in the area of the company are noted in the contaminated land register. Until May 18, there was no evidence of pollutants in the area of the affected company, according to the official announcement of the district.
Increased concentration of pollutants may have been present for years The results of the now arranged investigations into the causes of PCB or dioxin pollution in the floor of the farm determine which further measures have to be taken so that the pollution of the eggs can be avoided in the future, explains the District in its press release. The two stables with a total of 8,200 laying hens will remain closed for the time being, the animals and eggs may not leave the farm. How such pollution could occur with the environmental toxins PCB and dioxin remains a mystery, especially since the pollution apparently occurred extremely suddenly. However, it would also be possible that the pollutants have been present in the soil in high concentrations for years and that the contamination of the eggs has so far only not been noticed. The result of the upcoming investigations can therefore be eagerly awaited. (fp)
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Image: Gerd Altmann, Pixelio