Author(s): Waegeneers N, Hoenig M, Goeyens L, De Temmerman L
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to evaluate the levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, copper and zinc in home-produced eggs, soils and kitchen waste samples of private chicken owners in Belgium, and to determine spatiotemporal differences in trace element contents in eggs. Eggs were sampled in all provinces of Belgium in autumn 2006 and spring 2007. A total number of 59 private chicken owners participated in the study. Trace elements were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry except for mercury, which was determined by atomic absorption of mercury vapour. The mean fresh weight concentrations in eggs in autumn and spring respectively were <8.0 and <8.0 microg/kg for arsenic, 0.5 and <0.5 microg/kg for cadmium, 116 and 74 microg/kg for lead, 0.43 and 0.52 mg/kg for copper, 20.3 and 19.2 mg/kg for zinc, and 3.15 and 4.44 microg/kg for mercury. Analysis of variance determined significant differences in some trace element concentrations in eggs among seasons and regions in Belgium. Average concentrations of arsenic, cadmium and mercury corresponded well with values measured in other countries, while copper and zinc concentrations were within the same order of magnitude as in other countries. Average lead concentrations were high compared to concentrations in eggs from other countries and correlated well with lead concentrations in soil, indicating that the soil is an important source. Other sources of trace elements in eggs might be home-grown vegetables and forage (grass and herbs), and indirectly, air pollution.
This article was published in Sci Total Environ
and referenced in Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences