Antibiotics found in world’s rivers at levels up to 300 times above safe levels

 

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A new study has found that in over 100 of 700 river samples taken, antibiotic concentrations were at levels exceeding safe concentrations, with the Danube found to be the most contaminated river in Europe

In a massive global study, led by researchers at the University of York, hundreds of rivers around the world have been tested for levels of common antibiotics. The study found 65 percent of all samples contained some concentration of antibiotics, with the worst cases showing levels more than 300 times higher than the generally accepted safe threshold.

The study is the first to coordinate such a broad global survey of the world’s rivers, examining levels of 14 common antibiotics from 711 sites across 72 countries. John Wilkinson, one of the researchers coordinating this large project, suggests that alongside many regions never before monitored, this is the largest antibiotic survey ever conducted.

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