http://www.torontosun.com/2011/08/19/poop-is-in-the-air-study QMI Agency
That foul smell that hangs over Detroit? Turns out it's not a metaphor, it's a scientific fact.A new study found the city has a "significant" quantity of bacteria from fecal material in its atmosphere, said a news release Thursday.Scientists already knew bacteria exist in the atmosphere, but a group of researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder wanted to find out how much, and from what sources."We breathe in bacteria every minute we are outside, and some of these bugs may have potential health implications," said study co-author Noah Fierer, an assistant professor at CU-Boulder.He and his colleagues looked at the air in three locations in the Great Lakes region: Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit, all with populations of more than two million; and Mayville, Wis., with fewer than 6,000 residents."We found unexpectedly high bacterial diversity in all of our samples, but to our surprise the airborne bacterial communities of Detroit and Cleveland most closely resembled those communities found in dog poop," said lead author Robert Bowers.The team pointed out their samples were taken in winter, when snow on the ground covers soil, dust, leaves and other common summertime sources of bacteria.They plan to study other cities and map out the results to help scientists investigate the possible impacts on human health.
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