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European e-waste poisons Africa’s food chain

Free-range eggs in the Agbogbloshie slum in Ghana are contaminated with some of the highest levels ever measured (in eggs) of certain toxic substances due to the illegal dumping of electronic waste from Europe, according to this report from Swedish non-profit IPEN and US non-profit Basel Action Network.

Around 80,000 people live in Agbogbloshie, many of whom make a living by extracting copper and other metals from electronic waste. The process involves burning plastic cables and casings, which releases highly toxic substances including brominated and chlorinated dioxins and furans.

The report finds that an adult eating just one egg from a chicken foraging in Agbogbloshie would exceed the European Food Safety Authority’s tolerable daily intake for chlorinated dioxins by 220-fold.

Read the full report, Weak Controls: European e-waste poisons Africa’s food chain, here (PDF link) and read a summary here. See also the Foodsource building block What is food security?

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Publication
29 Apr 2019
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