Perfluoroalkyl contaminants in eggs from backyard chickens reared in Italy
By Gazzotti, Teresa, Federico Sirri, Elisa Ghelli, Elisa Zironi, Marco Zampiga, and Giampiero Pagliuca
June 1, 2021
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are persistent and bioaccumulative compounds with adverse impacts on the environment and human health. Diet is one of the main sources of exposure to PFASs. Recently, the EFSA established a tolerable weekly intake (TWI) limit (4.4 ng/kg b.w.) for a mixture of the four major PFASs. Eggs and egg products can contribute to this intake, with their contamination possibly dependent on the husbandry system. Monitoring Italian eggs from backyard chickens revealed a relatively uniform PFAS contamination, with perfluoro-1-octanesulfonate being the most abundant. Contamination was detected to be significantly higher in eggs from backyard chickens than in eggs from commercial laying hens, consistent with a previous Italian study. According to the recently set TWI value, the consumption of eggs from backyard chickens could contribute significantly to dietary intake of PFASs (up to 29% of the TWI in children, considering the lower bound approach).
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