Antibiotics are becoming one of the major contaminants of the world’s rivers. This was found out by the latest global study where researchers from the University of York in the United Kingdom assessed samples from various rivers in 72 countries and discovered the presence of antibiotics in 65% of them.
The levels of contaminations have reached a dangerous stage especially those found in Africa & Asia, the team told, whereas the sites in Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria & Bangladesh surpassing the safe levels by a huge degree.
At a site located in Bangladesh the worst case was found, where the amount of the drug ‘Metronidazole’ which is used for the treatment of bacterial infections surpassed the safe levels by so far 300 times.
It depends on the antibiotic how much its concentration is safe in any river. Commonly, the safe levels are in between the range of 20k to 32k nanograms per liter.
Researchers searched in their samples for the very frequently used antibiotics. Trimethoprim was found by them which is drug majorly used for the treatment of urinary infections. Its concentration was found at 43% of the rivers which were tested, making it is the predominant antibiotic revealed in the study.
According to the researchers, another antibiotic which fights bacteria ‘Ciprofloxacin’ most commonly surpassed the safe levels, exceeding the safety threshold in fifty-one locations.
The data was extracted from 711 sites, and from some of the most renowned rivers of the world, inclusive of Mekong, Tiber, Chao Phraya.
It was found by the researchers that the high-risk were mostly located near wastewater plants, sewage landfills or in some areas of waste.
Researchers told that although the safe limits were commonly surpassed in the developing countries the contamination of antibiotic is a ‘global problem’.