Rivers worldwide are seriously polluted by antibiotics. That states a team of scientists from different universities, led by the University of York.
The survey included 711 rivers in 72 countries on six continents. Large rivers such as the Seine, Thames, Tiber and Tigris were included in the study as well.
A dangerously high amount of antibiotics was found in 65 percent of the waters. In some rivers, more than three hundred times the amount deemed ‘safe’ was measured.
Rivers in Africa and Asia in particular are seriously polluted. In many places there is an acute danger for people, animals and plants. Risk areas were also found in Europe, South America and North America.
The researchers call the results “shocking and worrying”. By dumping antibiotics in rivers, bacteria build up resistance to it faster, making medication for diseases unusable.
The pollution also results in less clean drinking water, which in addition to the consequences for humans has major ecological consequences for nature.