High concentrations of antibiotics have surfaced in major Chinese rivers, according to a report from the Chinese Science Bulletin, which revealed that at least 68 kinds of antibiotics were found in China’s surface water along with 90 kinds of non-antibiotic medical ingredients.
Shanghai Daily relays that the report, carried out by the East China University of Science and Technology along with Tongji and Tsinghua universities, analyzed pharmaceuticals and personal care products (aka PPCPs, including cosmetics, prescription medicine, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and sedatives) in China’s surface water.
Tests revealed as many as 68 kinds of antibiotics in much higher concentrations than water of developed countries, which the report attributed to China’s massive PPCP production rate. As many as 33,999 metric tons of PPCPs are churned out each year in the country, and 70 percent of China’s drugs are antibiotics.
The main sources of PPCPs, according to the report, are sewage plants, livestock waste water, pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals and cropland.
While China’s rivers never boasted a great track-record for cleanliness, what, with the black and blue streams and rotting pigs, experts are particularly worried about the discovery considering the harm PPCPs pose on humans.
“Once discharged into nature, they will be taken in by people via food or water and accumulate in our bodies, impacting on future generations.” Yu Gang of Tsinghua University told Xinhua.