Updated on 13 May 2019
For each antibiotic that pollutes the environment, this Index estimates its impact on consumer safety from none (1) to severe (1000). It takes the following 5 factors into account:
- Polluted site
- Residue in food
- Resistance against this antibiotic
- Placed on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines
- Incorrect use: Public Demand to obtain this antibiotic without prescription on the web
Correlations of these 5 factors as well as this Index are provided in the table below.
High correlations might be a first indication that one factor is dependent on the other.
The high correlation between On-line demand and Resistance is an intriguing one, pointing at a market element that gets little attention in addressing antibiotic usage and the approach towards antibiotic resistance.
20190513 Factor correlations (Spearman's)
|Polluted sites||Food||Resistance||WHO essential drug||On-line demand||This Index|
|WHO essential drug||1.00||0.65||0.77|
What can I do with the Index?
Find out the Index for your antibiotic. If it is high, this drug is likely on its way out, and the world may loose an important cure for your disease, unless we reduce it’s usage and pollution levels in the pharmaceutical, agricultural and (health-)care industries.
Follow your physician’s advice, but don’t forget to confirm that:
a/ without antibiotics, you would be at risk;
b/ without antibiotics, you will not get better.
Dispose of the remains responsibly and never keep antibiotics to self-medicate.
Health care providers and veterinarians
Use the Index as an entry point for improving the sustainable use of antibiotics in your practice and to inform your patients and clients on risks associated to irrational use of antibiotics.
Public Health professionals and NGOs
Your policy advice and/or implementation could benefit from data behind the Index, which contain more detailed insights of the factors involved. Please get in touch via LinkedIn to see how we can support you.
My antibiotic is not on the list. What does it mean?
SquaredAnt looks for antibiotics in the environment. Only those that are identified are indexed. For now, we only use academic publications as a resource. If your antibiotic is not on the list, it means that no publications have been processed that mention this antibiotic.
Leader of the pack
Currently, Tetracycline has the highest Index. SquaredAnt has found
- evidence for pollution on 38 locations globally;
- 115 publications that link to pollution of food;
- nearly 16 thousand publications that link to resistance;
- it is defined as an essential medicine by the WHO;
- over 900 thousand posts on-line, that request or offer this drug.
|Sulfadimidine or Sulfamethazine||427|
The Antibiotics Pollution Index is an initiative of SquaredAnt and intended to generate awareness on the risks of uncontrolled exposure to antibiotics. SquaredAnt does not accept responsibility for any damage through the use or interpretation of the Index, and no rights may be derived from its contents.
Click here to browse the preceding version of this index.