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Last Edited: 12/17/2013

Dioxins in Backyard Chicken Eggs: Reducing Risks
Written: August, 2004



Dioxins, a group of toxic chemicals, have been found in many animal food products including meat, milk, cheese, eggs, and fish. Backyard chickens that forage on the ground may be exposed to higher levels of dioxins than commercial chickens. EHIB has tested eggs from backyard chickens from several areas of California. In Oroville, Stockton, Rosamond, and south of Mojave (areas where local industries have released dioxins into the environment) the eggs had high levels, and residents were advised not to eat eggs from backyard chickens or to limit how much they eat.

We also tested eggs from backyard chickens from a rural area (Nevada County) with no known industrial sources of dioxins. The dioxin levels in these eggs were higher than levels found in grocery store eggs, but within regulatory guidelines for safe consumption. The Nevada County study suggests that eggs from backyard chickens kept anywhere in California may have some dioxin contamination. This fact sheet is for people who want to reduce the health risk from eating backyard chicken eggs. Ways to reduce risk include eating only the egg whites and changing raising practices for backyard chickens.


Click here for a printable (pdf) version of the fact sheet