23 May 2015

Chlorine and antibiotic resistance

From This Way Up, 1:50 pm on 23 May 2015
Olya Keen.

Olya Keen. Photo: Mike Hermann

Could chlorine be contributing to the problem of antibiotic resistance?

We've heard a lot about antibiotic resistance and the threat this poses to human health.

In the 90 years since antibiotics were discovered we've used them to save millions of lives. But could the way we're treating waste water be encouraging the super bugs of the future?

Olya Keen of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is studying how chlorine, the disinfectant used in most sewage treatment plants, could be contributing to the problem.