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Dangerously High Levels of Antibiotic Traces Found in Sava River?

By 22 November 2017

Croatian scientists claim that the Sava river is severely polluted.

Researchers from the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad in Serbia have discovered traces of antibiotics in the Sava coming from Croatia, but for now there is no official confirmation whether the levels are such that they could seriously endanger people, animals and plants living in or near the river, reports Večernji List on November 22, 2017.

After the recent news that Croatian scientists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb had found that wastewater from some of the plants owned by the Croatian pharmaceutical industry arrives in the Sava with a high concentration of macrolide antibiotics, destroying some of the plants and animals living in the river, the presence of antibiotics in the waters of the Sava River has now been confirmed by experts from Novi Sad as well.

Mirjana Vojinović Miloradov, a professor at the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad, confirmed that researchers from her faculty had conducted research on the Sava River and found the presence of traces of antibiotics. “These are still low concentrations,” said Vojnović Miloradov, warning that higher antibiotic concentrations in waterways could be “very serious”, even fatal for animal life in the rivers.

Relevant inspection services are conducting regular monitoring activities and have not yet detected the presence of antibiotics in the Sava.

Serbian daily newspaper Kurir sent a question to the Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Water Management and Water Pollution Prevention Working Group, the Water Inspectorate, and the Agency for Environmental Protection. The only reply received came from the Agency which said that “regular monitoring has not found any higher antibiotic concentrations.”

“Only focus monitoring activities can confirm the existence of trace of antibiotics in the water,” said Vojinović Miloradov, listing four types of monitoring activities – supervisory, operational, research and complementary, stressing that “regular monitoring does not even include the antibiotics testing.”

She warns that “the consequences would be unimaginable if it is true that the Croatian pharmaceutical industry has polluted the Sava River with up to thousand times higher levels of antibiotics than are allowed,” which is claimed by Croatian scientists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute.

Translated from Večernji List.

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