It seems that New Yorkers have new health concerns. Research from an official state department has indicated that there are higher levels of lead in eggs from chickens from the city’s public neighborhood gardens that could be cause for concern, more than double of those bought in stores. Unfortunately, this is very worrying since it has been found that even if ingested in minimal amounts, it can be harmful to humans.
Indeed, if Henry M. Spliethoff’s findings are anything to go by, then New Yorkers who consume eggs should really be concerned. Spliethoff – a research scientist in the Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment for the environmental health center of the State Health Department – tested 58 eggs from the chickens at New York City gardens. Out of these he found 28 of them – nearly half – to have lead in amounts of 10 to 73 parts per billion. One of these eggs had over 100 parts per billion.
The results of the study will be published later this year after Spliethoff completes additional analysis on soil and feed. He is hoping to figure out how these might add to the lead content of the eggs. Meanwhile, research participants were told of the amount of lead he found and given tips on how to reduce lead exposure.
Still, even with these findings, the Department of Health is being cautious. It claims that while lead poisoning is indeed a serious matter, the results of the study are subject to interpretation and thus urban gardeners should not be discouraged from eating nutrient-dense eggs unnecessarily. Clearly more research and work needs to be done.