Antibiotics in landfills pose public health risk

phys.org | 9/19/2018 | Staff
PaMe (Posted by) Level 3
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The large quantities of discarded antibiotics in Hong Kong's landfills pose a pollution problem and a potential hazard to public health and ocean life, a new study by a Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) scholar says.

The large quantities of discarded antibiotics in Hong Kong's landfills pose a pollution problem and a potential hazard to public health and ocean life, a new study by a Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) scholar says.

HKBU - Team - Dr - Chung - Shan-shan

The HKBU team was led by Dr. Chung Shan-shan, Programme Director of the Master of Science in Environmental and Public Health Management, and Senior Lecturer of the Department of Biology. The team collected leachate, which is the liquid that drains or "leaches" from a landfill, from three landfills in Hong Kong to examine the pollution levels leaching from those sites. The results showed that in general the leachates contain human antibiotics and some samples have quantities resulting in the possible development of antibiotics-resistant microorganisms, thus threatening human health.

The sites are the West New Territories Landfill, one of largest active landfills in Asia, and the Pillar Point Valley and Shuen Wan sites, which have been closed for 20 years. The team examined the concentration of antibiotics in the leachate and their associated hazards. Sampling was undertaken during the wet and dry seasons.

Team - Human-use - Antibiotics - Hong - Kong

The team focused on some of the most common human-use antibiotics in Hong Kong, namely cephalexin (CLX), chloramphenicol (CAP), ciprofloxacin (CIP), erythromycin (ERY), roxithromycin (ROX), trimethoprim (TMP) and sulfamethoxazole (SMX).

In terms of antibiotic resistance, it was found that CLX, CAP, ROX and SMX in leachates did not exceed the acceptable levels, measured by "predicted no effect concentrations" (PNECs), values used in assessing environmental risk. However the CIP, ERY and TMP levels in some locations and on some dates were found to be exceeding those values. In particular, the concentrations of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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