Occurrence of antibiotics in the environment

Piotr Rezka,

Wojciech Balcerzak


Antibiotics are the most commonly used group of pharmaceuticals used in human and animal treatment. The main sources are hospital and household sewage and waste from animal production. The paper is a review of the literature confirming the prevalence of antibiotics in wastewater influents and effluents, natural waters, sludge and sediments. Studies conducted around the world confirm that there is a risk of antibiotic accumulation in soil and their infiltration to drinking water despite advanced methods of water purification. The concentrations of several substances found in surface water samples exceed the levels considered as safe for the studied aquatic organisms several hundred times, which indicates a real threat to their lives.

Słowa kluczowe: antibiotics, wastewater, surface water, sludge