Antibiotics

Extent of children's antibiotic exposure

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Science  01 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6234, pp. 537
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6234.537-f

Antibiotics are widely used in human and veterinary medicine and in personal care products, so people are increasingly exposed to them in the environment and in food. How high is the resulting antibiotic burden? Wang et al. measured the concentrations of 18 representative antibiotics in the urine of 1064 schoolchildren from three economically and geographically distinct areas in eastern China. They show that 58.3% of samples contained at least one antibiotic and that more than 20% of samples contained more than one. A lack of suitable analytical methods for some commonly used antibiotics means that the total antibiotic burden is likely to be even higher. Based on contamination data for the aquatic environment, exposures of children in the United States and Europe may be similar to those in this study.

Environ. Sci. Technol. 10.1021/es5059428 (2015).

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