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Highest concentrations of antibiotics in China’s waterways mapped

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The Hai River in Tianjin, China


Rivers near Beijing and Tianjin in the north and in the Pearl River Delta in the south contain some of the highest concentrations of antibiotics in China's waterways, according to a study that cites the overuse of the drugs in humans and farm animals.

一项研究表示,由于人类和农场动物的药物滥用,北方城市北京和天津附近及南方珠江三角洲的河流中的抗生素含量,在中国水道中居于最高水平。

 

China has about a fifth of the world's population, but it accounts for nearly half of the world's consumption of antibiotics, according to the study, conducted by the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. "China is the world's biggest consumer," said Ying Guangguo, the lead researcher, in a telephone interview.

中国科学院广州地球化学研究所开展的研究称,人口约占世界总人口五分之一的中国,抗生素消耗量却占世界的将近一半。研究员应光国在电话采访中说:"中国是世界最大的消耗国。"

 

Total consumption in 2013 was 162,000 tons, with humans consuming 48 percent and animals the rest, the study said. A major concern about the overuse of antibiotics is that it can contribute to the proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria, undercutting the effectiveness of existing medications.

研究称,2013年的消耗总量为16.2万吨,其中人类消耗量占48%,动物消耗量占52%。过量使用抗生素的一个主要担心是导致耐药细菌的增殖,从而降低现存药物的效力。

 

"Although our study does not show directly that high levels of antibiotics in water would lead to drug resistance in humans, antibiotic pollutants have negative impacts on the ecosystem," Mr. Ying said. "And since we are living in the environment and interacting with it, it will eventually affect our health."

"尽管我们的研究没有直接说明水中高浓度的抗生素将导致人体产生抗药性,但抗生素污染物的确会对生态系统产生消极影响。"应光国说。"既然我们住在这个环境里,而且还在与这个环境互动,它最终肯定会影响我们的健康。"

 

Most of the drugs entered the waterways through human and animal excretion, Mr. Ying said, and the areas around the Hai River in the north and Pearl River in the south are densely populated. "There are also large numbers of livestock farms, especially poultry and pig farms," he said.

应光国称,大多数药物都是通过人类和动物的排泄物进入这些水道的,而且北方的海河和南方的珠江周边地区的人口密度很高。他说,"这里还有许多养殖场,尤其是家禽和猪的养殖场。"

 

Antibiotics are added to livestock feed to help bolster production to meet the rising demand for animal protein from Chinese consumers.

为了满足中国消费者对动物蛋白日益增加的需求,人们往往会通过在畜禽饲料中加入抗生素来提高产量。

 

"There are no regulations for poultry and pig farms in China for how to manage their wastewater," Mr. Ying said. "It all depends on the environmental consciousness of farm owners. Small owners tend to discharge wastewater directly into rivers because wastewater treatment is expensive."

"中国还没有关于如何处理畜禽养殖场废水的规定。"应光国说。"这完全取决于养殖场所有者的环保意识。由于废水处理的成本较高,小型养殖场主倾向于把废水直接排入河流。"

 

Antibiotics are freely prescribed in China but can also be bought without a prescription. "The government has started to monitor and limit the use of antibiotics in major hospitals in big cities," Mr. Ying said. "However, there is no regulatory system for small hospitals and clinics."

中国对抗生素处方没有多少限制,而且人们还能在没有处方的情况下购买它。"政府开始在一些大城市的主要医院监控和限制抗生素的使用。"应光国说。"不过,对于小医院和诊所,却没有任何管制体系。"

 

The study, which was published last month in Environmental Science & Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society, is one of the first comprehensive studies of the problem in China, examining 58 river basins.

5月,这项研究的报告在美国化学学会(American Chemical Society)的杂志《环境科学与技术》 (Environmental Science and Technology) 上发表,它是首批对中国的这个问题进行详细研究的项目之一,共研究了58个流域。

 

"It can provide a reference and guidance for the authorities to set up a regulatory system to measure and control the use of antibiotics," Mr. Ying said.

应光国认为,这个研究可以为官方提供一个参考和指导,以建立一个用来管理和控制抗生素使用的监管制度。

2016-06-24

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