From Mike McIntyre’s Plain Dealer Tipoff column today:
…the University of Colorado researchers report that their study of four Midwest towns found that Detroit and Cleveland both had winter air as fresh as a pick-up bag.
That is, a doggy-do pick-up bag. The Denver Post article about the research is titled, “CU researchers: Bacteria found in dog poop dominates in air over Cleveland and Detroit.”
As Mike goes on to note, the researchers insist that their findings are far from conclusive and primarily indicate the need to research bacteria in the air we breath. They explain the finding this way:
Robert Bowers, lead author of the study, says the data “suggests that dog poop may be a potential source of bacteria to the atmosphere at these locations.”
Only one location in each of the four cities was tested, Fierer said. (Let’s hope the Cleveland sample was at the Clark Avenue Dog Park.) Leaves and soil were the primary sources of airborne bacteria in samples taken during the summer, he said, but they dropped off in winter, and dog poop bacteria became more prevalent.
You can read an abstract of the published study here. The title is, “Sources of bacteria in outdoor air across cities in the midwestern United States.”
Given the already horrific standing of air quality in NE Ohio (recall this post about the American Lung Association’s review), this is not the kind of even preliminary finding that is particularly welcoming, even if kind of, sort of, amusing.
All I need is the air that I breathe? A refrain from the 1970s that’s hard to consider while considering what the heck is in our air these days. Please check out the MCAF and help spread the word about the need to know and better manage what’s in our air.
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