Latest Issue of Science News


Suspended Drugs: Antibiotics fed to animals drift in air

Drugs added to animal feed can latch onto dust particles that become airborne and float through farm buildings, according to German scientists investigating health risks. Such antibiotics could be toxic if livestock workers inhale them and also could accelerate the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria.

Past studies have found farm-derived antibiotics in waterways (SN: 3/23/02, p. 181: Available to subscribers at A Confluence of Contaminants: Streams' organic mix may pose environmental risk) and food products. The air represents a third route of unintended exposure to antibiotics, says microbiologist James Zahn of Iowa State University in Ames.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.