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Trace Metals in Domestically Produced Eggs

Does the environment impact the quality of domestic eggs?

All foodstuffs absorb chemicals from the environment where they grow. These chemicals are either from human activities or naturally occurring. Trace metals are naturally occurring in the environment and are common in all soils. At low levels, they can be essential nutrients for plants and animals, such as iron, manganese, zinc, and selenium. At higher levels some of these metals can be harmful to both human and animal health, such as lead, arsenic, and chromium. These can cause chronic illnesses.

They all come naturally from the earth, but human activity has made some of them more common. For example, lead has been mined for thousands of years. It has very useful properties having been used to make pipes, flashing on roofs, and as a component in paint. Lead however is toxic in high levels and has been removed from most uses. In 1992 it was removed from paint and in 1999 it was removed as an ingredient in petrol, where it reduced engine wear.

However, because lead is an element it is not broken down in the environment and so remains in the soil where it can be taken up by plants and by animals that forage in the soil.

Commercially produced eggs, including free range, have extremely low levels of trace metals but there is almost no research on the levels of trace metals in domestically produced eggs.

Do you keep domestic chickens?

As a keeper of domestic chickens we would like your help in understanding the levels of trace metals in the eggs your chickens produce. Please take time to read the following information carefully. If any part is unclear or if you would like more information, please ask us (contact details below).

Contact for further information

Amnah Humdi -