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Pollution Is Contributing to Antibiotic Resistance

Pollution is contributing to the problem of rising antibiotic resistance in harmful microorganisms, which is making some of our most important medical tools less and less useful. For both businesses and consumers, this is a reminder to make sure that waste is handled in the right manner instead of being tossed out whenever and wherever it is most convenient.


Manassas, VA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/15/2016 --Pollution puts a wide range of pollutants in the shared environment, which results in a wide range of consequences. One example is how countless species of harmful microorganisms are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics, which is an enormous problem because we are reliant on them to protect ourselves as well as keeping a number of important economic sectors running in a smooth and uninterrupted manner. Although pollution is not the sole cause of the problem of rising antibiotic resistance, it is nonetheless a serious one.

How this happens is simple. In short, the careless handling of waste can introduce antibiotics to the environment, at which point, it will start interacting with the microorganisms living therein. The microorganisms with the most natural resistance will make up most of the survivors, meaning that they will also be the ones to pass their genes onto the next generation. Over time, sufficient repetition of this cycle can make entire populations of microorganisms resistant to the antibiotics that they were exposed to as well as other antibiotics that work in a similar fashion. If said microorganisms are harmful to humans, exposure can cause them to spread to said individuals as well as the healthcare facilities that treat them, thus creating further problems for our perpetually strained healthcare system.

Even more troubling, there is reason to believe that pollution can contribute to rising antibiotic resistance even when antibiotics are not one of the pollutants. In short, an ecologist at the University of Georgia conducted recent studies of the streams at the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site on a suspicion that non-antibiotic pollutants were contributing to the problem. He discovered high levels of antibiotic resistance in streams that had never been exposed to antibiotics but had been exposed to metals such as cadmium and mercury. Furthermore, he was able to rule out exposure to antibiotics via defecating animals because the high levels of antibiotic resistance were found in streams known to have been exposed to the metals but not in streams with no such exposure. While these results are not enough to prove that non-antibiotic pollutants are contributing to the problem of rising antibiotic resistance in harmful microorganisms, they are nonetheless pointing in that direction.

For both businesses and consumers, this is a reminder of the importance of making sure that waste is handled in the right manner. Those who are unsure should not hesitate to contact waste disposal specialists such as EnviroSolutions for their expertise and experience so that they can do the right thing for the right results when it comes to the shared environment.

For more information, please visit http://www.esiwaste.com/