Kids’ health at risk from antibiotics


LOCAL children are being widely exposed to antibiotics from tainted food and drinking water, potentially harming their long-term health, according to a study by Fudan University.

The research, which was published in the latest edition of Environment International, tested for 21 human and veterinary antibiotics in 505 Shanghai schoolchildren aged between 8 and 11. Traces of at least one of the drugs was found in 80 percent of the subjects tested.

The use of antibiotics is commonplace in China. In November, the World Health Organization issued a report claiming that nearly two-thirds of Chinese believed they should be used to treat colds and flu, while one-third thought they help to relieve headaches.

The study also found that Chinese doctors prescribe antibiotics to half of all outpatients, far above recommended levels.

“Beyond the health system, the economic costs of antibiotic resistance are formidable — in China, one prediction estimates the loss of up to a million lives a year by 2050,” it said.

According to, in 2013 China used 162,000 tons of antibiotics.

More than 50,000 tons of the drugs were discharged into the country’s waterways and soil.




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