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Environmental Management in an Age of Antibiotic Resistance

December 23, 2016

In the time before Christmas, we hope, we anticipate. We hope for peace in our world, a place where we all can flourish.  We are thankful for the ways that we could participate in making our world a better place for all of us.

We are proud to be working with our communities of Abbotsford and Mission in a small but yet a very important and global effort to reduce the threat and cost of antibiotic resistance resulting from biosolids management in three distinct ways:

  1. By ensuring that the biosolids meet strict microbial standards before they are released.
  2. By advocating that Class B biosolids having high fecal coliform should be properly treated before entering our environment.
  3. By innovating and continually looking for solutions to better manage our biosolids, through composting or other technologies.

Some of the solutions such as composting not only reduce the risk of microbial resistance, but reduce other substances of concern by up to 99%. It also reduces cost of transportation as well as odour and other social concerns normally associated with landspreading of biosolids.

Investing in good management today reduces the health care cost for our children and gives us the satisfaction of knowing that we did our small part for our community and our world.

Importance of our environment in managing antimicrobial resistance (drawing from FAO website)

Importance of our environment in managing antimicrobial resistance (drawing from FAO website)

The health care cost of antibiotic resistance, or commonly referred to as superbugs, is expected to reach $ 100 trillion annually by 2050. The World Health Organization stated that “Antimicrobial resistant-microbes are found in people, animals, food, and the environment which include our water, soil and air.” They show up in hospitals because that’s where we end up if we are sick. Its also where people are more likely to be compromised, after surgeries, or cancer treatments.

How we manage our waste, our water and our food is important. They are all interconnected with our health.

Personally, I am thankful to utilize 30 years of training and experience in microbial ecology to work towards the well being of our planet.

  1. Genevieve Schutzius permalink

    Glad to have found your blog! It has been an excellent resource. As a grad student researching antibiotic resistance in biosolids, I am in agreement on the importance of this issue and am hoping to contribute to the body of knowledge on the topic.

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