KENYA – Kenyan Centre for Environment Justice and Development (CEJAD), has reported bioindicator results revealing that most residents living around Nairobi, the country’s capital, are consuming contaminated eggs from free-range chicken eggs near dumpsites.

The report was released by the CEJAD prior the World Environment Day showing that a sample of free-range chicken eggs near dumpsites, e-waste, and plastic waste recycling yards contained extremely high levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

According to Aaron Kecha, a technical advisor from the center, these are chicken that scavenge in the dumpsites or in areas where recycling is done.

“The report is an indication of that particular contaminated site. It means that people who physically live around dumpsites and areas where there is a lot of handling of e-waste are exposed to these chemicals,” he said.

Environmental experts also revealed that open burning of these plastic wastes releases furans and dioxins chemicals into the soil, air, and water.

In return, the free-range chicken feed on plants that grow in such environments, and the eggs they lay have high POPs content.

“The eggs showed very high concentrations of POPs chemicals that are as much as 111 times higher than the EU regulatory limits for dioxins, plus dioxin-like PCBs,” CEJAD reported.

“This means that an adult eating a single egg from one Kenyan location could be exposed to a dose of toxic chemicals that would exceed the EU daily safety limit for more than 250 days.”

This, therefore, means that even animals that feed around dumpsites like Dandora produce contaminated milk and meat, raising alarm on the high level of contamination of foods in Nairobi.

“It’s true that we like organic eggs which contain higher beta-carotene. We have to remember that hens get beta-carotene from the leaves of plants,” said Dennis Otieno, a food scientist from the University of Nairobi.

“The problem is that if your hens are feeding in contaminated places then they are likely to have eggs that are contaminated with POPs which are not good for our health.”

According to the Project Manager for the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Project (NARIGP), Njoroge Githunguri Eggs are the cheapest source of proteins and Kenyans have to eat more eggs to boost their health.

In Kenya, poultry products are produced mainly in rural areas but consumed more in urban settings where eggs, for instance, are sold as a breakfast accompaniment for well-to-do families or as part of lunch or dinner for many.

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