The World’s Rivers are Drinking Drugs

The rivers of the world are laced with antibiotics—giving bacteria ample opportunity to develop resistance to the lifesaving medications, according to a major new study presented in Helsinki. 65% of 711 sites tested contained antibiotics, which seep into rivers via human and animal waste, wastewater treatment plants and drug factories.

Regarded as relatively clean, London’s Thames was contaminated with 5 antibiotics including one used to treat skin infections, which peaked at 3X safe levels. In Bangladesh, a drug for vaginal infections soared to 300X safe levels. 

Researchers are now looking into the effects on wildlife, after finding drug levels so high in Kenyan rivers that fish were wiped out.

The Guardian

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