Antibiotics and Environmental Health - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Antibiotics and Environmental Health

Antibiotics, resistant bacteria, and antibiotic resistance genes reach the environment through a variety of routes, including antibiotic use in human and animal health settings, home antibiotic use by patients with prescriptions, use of antibiotics to treat food production animals, application of antibiotics on plant agriculture, and use of antibiotics in a variety of industrial processes.

Currently, little is known about the importance of antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or antibiotic resistance genes that are detected in the environment. However, there is considerable concern about the impact of environmental contaminants on overall emergence of antibiotic resistance and human health.

On this page:
Medication disposal
Presence of antibiotics
Management and treatment options
Learn more about antibiotic stewardship

Medication disposal

  • MPCA: Medication Disposal Toolkit
    Use the “Take it to the Box Toolkit” to show your commitment to proper medication disposal! MPCA has a downloadable collection of logos, designed templates, and graphics that will help your community provide a safe medication drop-off program.
  • MPCA: Dispose of Unwanted Medications
    Use this searchable map to find a medication collection site near you. Most collection bins are located indoors and accessible during normal business hours.
  • MPCA: Managing Unwanted Medications
    Studies show that medicines flushed down the drain can contaminate our lakes and streams, which can hurt fish and other aquatic wildlife, and end up in our drinking water. 

Presence of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in the environment

Management and treatment options

Updated Monday, 07-Feb-2022 13:22:16 CST