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Antibiotics in Waste and Wastewater

Prof. Dr. agr. habil. Thiele-Bruhn Soeren, University of Trier, Germany

    Antibiotics in Waste and Wastewater

    Pharmaceutical antibiotics are widely used in human and veterinary medicine. However, after medication they are quickly excreted from the body and end up either in waste water or in livestock manure. On both routes antibiotics enter the environment.

    Due to their poor elimination in waste water treatment processes, they reach natural water bodies. Manure and in many arid countries also wastewater is spread onto agricultural land, thus contaminating soils with pharmaceutical antibiotics.

    Since these substances are highly potent agents, they exert adverse effects on biota and residual concentrations are widely distributed in the environment.