Friday, August 19, 2011

Dog Days of Winter?

The Dawg Pound in Cleveland Browns Stadium

As the 'Dog Days' of summer come to an end and Cub's fans everywhere enter into their official waiting 'til next year period, it's time to look forward to those crisp winter days with clean cool breezes and the cheers from college and NFL football fans filling the air. Well, that is, unless you live in Cleveland and Detroit. These cities share so much in common  - the devastating destruction of their industrial core and their long-suffering NFL fans (the Browns and Lions play each other tonight). Now they share something else in common and it isn't pretty - airborne dog feces.  Seriously.

A new study in Applied Environmental Microbiology by a group at University of Colorado, Boulder, aimed to characterize the microbes circulating in urban environments, which could trigger asthma and allergies, by analyzing the air in the summer and winter at four locations in the Great Lakes region: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and... Mayville, Wisconsin. I guess Milwaukee took a pass? Smart thinking. Their primary finding was that two cities, Detroit and Cleveland, had significant quantities of fecal bacteria in their atmosphere with dog feces being the most likely source, particularly in the winter. Good news!

In an an accompany CU press release, first author Robert Bowers said that "in the summer, airborne bacteria come from many sources including soil, dust, leaf surfaces, lakes and oceans, but in the winter, as leaves drop and snow covers the ground, the influence that these environments have as sources also goes down. It is during this season that the airborne communities appeared to be more influenced by dog feces than the other sources tested in the experiment." Well, now we know the real reason why the Cleveland NFL team is called the Browns. If you've ever been in the Dawg Pound, you wouldn't be surprised that there was a lot of fecal bacteria floating around. I'm just surprised it's from dogs and not Dawgs.

1 comment:

  1. Is inhaling dog feces what caused Brian Sipe to mistake a raider's defensive back for Lake Erie?