Rivers All Over The World Are Contaminated With Antibiotics

via+The+Guardian
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Rivers All Over The World Are Contaminated With Antibiotics

via The Guardian

via The Guardian

via The Guardian

via The Guardian

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A recent global study found that rivers all over the world are widely contaminated with antibiotics. A team of scientists collected data from 711 sites and tested samples from rivers of 72 countries for the 14 most common antibiotics and found 65% of them were contaminated. The contamination levels were high enough to be considered dangerous, the highest levels found in Asia and Africa, according to CNN. The most high-risk sites were found in rivers near wastewater treatment plants and waste and sewage dumps.

Although the highest levels of antibiotic contamination were mostly found in developing countries, samples from Europe, North America, and South America have also tested positive for dangerous levels of antibiotics, supporting the theory that this is a “global problem,” according to CNN.

Does this contamination pose a risk to health in humans or the environment?”

— John Wilkinson

According to CNN, Alistair Boxall, a professor of environmental science at York, called the study’s discovery “eye opening and worrying.” He believes the antibiotic contamination of rivers worldwide could be an “important contributor” to antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance is the resistance to antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiprotozoals, and it’s responsible for over 700,000 deaths each year. The United Nations expects the number to grow to 10 million deaths each year by 2030 if action is not taken. The United Nations recently called the increasing antimicrobial resistance around the world a “global crises,” according to their report.

Solving the problem is going to be a mammoth challenge.”

— Alistair Boxall

Boxall believes that in order to make a change, there will need to be more investments in infrastructure for waste and wastewater treatment. He also thinks contamination sites will have to be cleaned up and have tightened regulations.