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April 14, 2015

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Study: Children exposed to high levels of antibiotics

CHINESE children are widely exposed to antibiotics, which come from both drug use and residue in the environment and food, according to a research paper published yesterday.

The findings of a survey of 1,000 children between 8 and 11 years old in Shanghai and nearby Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, were published in the latest international scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology.

The article has revived the issue of antibiotics management and abuse control, Fudan University’s Public Health School said yesterday.

To study the influence of antibiotics in Chinese school children, Fudan’s experts took urine samples from 1,064 school students to test 18 representative antibiotics. It is the first time in the world that experts studied antibiotics from children’s urine samples.

All the 18 antibiotics were detected in urine samples with the detection frequencies ranging from 0.4 to 19.6 percent. “The antibiotics with the highest detection is an antibiotics used in animal raising and feed subsidy, which means there is a big residue even though it is legal,” said Wang Hexing, who participated in the research.

“Another antibiotic with over 16 percent detection rate is a popular antibiotics used at clinics.”

Most antibiotics are in a very low level, which is believed to be residue in the environment like water and food. Some samples had high level, which can be because the children were taking antibiotics, researchers said.

“The findings were alarming. Being exposed to low level of antibiotics for a long time can result in drug resistance and lead to intestinal disease, asthma, obesity and even tumor,” Wang said. “Our next step is to study antibiotics residue from different types of food.”


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