Review of Antibiotic Pollution in the Seven Watersheds in China
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School of Environmental Science and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
Submission date: 2018-06-13
Final revision date: 2018-10-04
Acceptance date: 2018-10-18
Online publication date: 2019-08-28
Publication date: 2019-09-17
Corresponding author
Ping Lu   

China University of Mining and Technology, #1 university road, CUMT, 221116 Xuzhou, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2019;28(6):4045-4055
China consumes 0.15-0.2 million tons of antibiotics yearly, which takes up 50% of the world’s consumption. In this paper, 7 watersheds in China were investigated in order to show a clear picture of the antibiotic distribution in the environment, seasonal variation, and sources. We find that the majority of the aquatic antibiotics come from livestock and aquaculture, followed by medical waste, wastewater treatment plants, and domestic sewage. The spatial distribution of antibiotics varies greatly. Antibiotic concentrations were the lowest in the Yangtze River while the highest was in the Liaohe River and the Pearl River. Songhua watershed and the Southwest River, influenced by the economy and population in the northwest region, displayed a lower quantity of antibiotics. Seasonal variance showed dry season concentrations that were higher than the wet season. Additionally, antibiotics exist not only in the water but also in the sediments. Overall, the distribution of antibiotics in China is uneven due to the economy and population levels. Public health risk and ecological impacts are big concerns regarding the great deal of antibiotic consumption and discharge.
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