Dog Pollution? Study Finds Fecal Bacteria in Air

August 19, 2011 Updated Aug 19, 2011 at 6:25 PM EDT

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Dog Pollution? Study Finds Fecal Bacteria in Air

August 19, 2011 Updated Aug 19, 2011 at 6:25 PM EDT

(MSNBC.com) There’s a new reason to crack down harder on dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets. Samples in two cities found that in winter the most common bacteria in the air is from feces — probably that of dogs.

"A significant percentage, anywhere from 10 to over 50 percent of the bacteria, seem to be derived from feces," Noah Fierer, an assistant professor of ecology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told msnbc.com.

"As best as we can tell, dog feces are the only explanation for these results," added Fierer. "But we do need to do more research."

Fierer and colleagues looked at air samples taken in winter from four cities in the Midwest — Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Mayville, Wis.

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