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Antibiotics in world’s rivers hit danger levels, new study finds

Antibiotics in world’s rivers hit danger levels, new study finds

Dangerous levels of antibiotics have contaminated hundreds of rivers worldwide, a pioneering UK-led study has found.

Drug pollution is one of the main ways that bacteria in the environment can build up resistance to life-saving medicines, rendering them useless.

There is also the threat of the contaminated water entering drinking supplies and the food chain.

Scientists say the findings are “worrying” as drug pollution is one of the main ways bacteria builds up resistance to medicines.

Researchers looked for 14 commonly used antibiotics in rivers in 72 countries across six continents and found antibiotics at two-thirds (65%) of the sites tested.

They also found concentrations in some rivers exceeded “safe” levels by up to 300 times.

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