CU-Boulder study: Dog-poop bacteria found in air over Detroit, Cleveland
Posted: 08/18/2011 12:17:56 PM MDT
Bacteria from dog waste may be the dominant source of airborne bacteria in the wintertime air over Cleveland and Detroit, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado.
The scientists were studying the bacterial communities found in 100 air samples previously collected by Colorado State University for an earlier study when they found that the samples from Cleveland and Detroit contained significant amounts of fecal bacteria, the most likely source of which is dog poop.
The research was published in the journal Applied Environmental Microbiology.
Scientists have known that bacteria exists in the atmosphere and that they can have detrimental effects on human health, triggering allergic asthma and seasonal allergies. But researchers are just beginning to understand how diverse airborne bacteria can be.
Council hit the streets to help stop dog fouling
- by Mark Smith, Cynon Valley Leader
- Aug 18 2011
CONSIDERATE and selfish dog owners beware – a new crackdown has been launched against those who let their four-legged friends to foul in public and don’t pick it up.
Over the last 11 months, a staggering 34 tonnes of dog mess has been collected by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Streetcare staff.
The majority of that mess was collected from the dog waste bins installed in communities across the county borough.
But far too much of it was scooped up from streets, pavements, open spaces, town centres and even parks, which is disgusting, dangerous and illegal.
Dog fouling in Rhondda Cynon Taf is seen as a major problem, and the council is launching a new campaign in a bid to stamp out this revolting issue.
The new campaign uses posters, adverts and radio campaigns featuring green hero Rhys Cycle and Dr Clean. The pair follow a dog fouling incident into the future to see just how harmful dog waste can be to the local community.
Dog waste is not only unsightly and messy, it can have serious health implications for children and adults alike, including toxocariasis. Toxocariasis is an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. The parasites eggs can be found in soil or sand contaminated with faeces and if swallowed, result in infection that lasts between six and 24 months - or sometimes a lifetime.
Symptoms include eye disorders, blindness, aches, dizziness, nausea, asthma and epileptic fits.
Failure to clean up after your dog could result in a hefty fine of at least £75, a criminal record or even worse you could endanger the life of others.
The council’s Streetcare Enforcement and Awareness Officers regularly patrol the streets looking for eco-offenders and have heard various feeble excuses for allowing pets to foul in public.
Under the dog fouling act of 1996, owners have to be in control of their pets and remove any mess left in the open air – whether it’s in a playing field, a pavement or a neighbour’s garden.
The council’s deputy leader, Coun Anthony Christopher, said: “We are very fortunate to have such a proactive and enthusiastic Streetcare Team who remain committed to using innovative schemes and initiatives to combat these blights on our towns and villages.”
The council provides specific bins near dog walking routes. If there is no bin on your route it is your responsibility to take it home with you for disposal.
You’d think this would be a simple question, with a simple answer – not so!
Many a responsible dog owner has tackled this question and been given a barrage of answers; many of which will be correct or incorrect based on where you live.
Yes poo in geographically sensitive!
You will find if you check with your local city/county they will have guidelines for how they would like you to deal with waste disposal; but be aware that if you leave your home base and go to a different US city or county (think day trip, or even more confusing road trip) the rules may well change as well as the possible fines!
Some cities have fines for pooping out of bounds but don’t enforce them, others have fines and will not hesitate to write you a ticket.
Some have a poop three strike law and other cities do not fine at all.
And as for fines, they may be as low as $25.00 or as high as $1000 with possible jail time up to 14 days.
Some cities encourage the use of plastic bags and others are trying to ban plastic bags.
One city will promote burying the poop and another will discourage this as they fear it may interfere with the water quality or contaminate food grown at a later date in the vicinity of the hole. Some cities encourage the installation of little septic tanks designed for pet waste and others discourage this stating these tanks are often not maintained properly and are thus a health hazard. I read one article where a city was teaching worm composting as one of their preferred ways for their residents to manage dog waste.
We are then we are presented with ‘do I carry it’ or ‘place it in the nearest bin; any bin’?
Well some neighbors will not mind you popping your package in their trash can and others will hit the roof and more.
Can I ‘leave it here until I return’ or will I ‘get the evil eye’ for leaving my package, all be it ever so briefly, on the beach/path/trail…? And then we can hit the topic of biodegradable bag, or not, and what is the difference, and are all biodegradable bags created equal and on and on the questions go. Go abroad and you will have a whole set of different rules, surrounding dog poop including the fact that some cities in Israel have actually created a data base to record and tag poop by DNA!!!
Yes CSI Waste management !
So what is one to do?
Most parties seem to agree on several points; storm water runoff is polluted by passing through dog waste left on the ground and this can adversely affect local water quality in watersheds, rivers, streams and the ocean, accordingly leaving it on the ground, anywhere, is clearly a no no.
Secondly when we are sharing the local pathways, parks and beaches with our neighbors and especially children, abandoned dog waste is messy, smelly and unhealthy.
So picking up is a must.
Using a biodegradable pet waste bag is highly recommended as they tend to be thinner than most grocery bags and thus more likely to degrade more efficiently.
Taking the waste home with you to dispose of in your own garbage can would probably please even the most finicky person as you will not be spoiling the air by filling up a public trash can that may fester in the heat, attract flies… or worse still a child may inadvertently touch the package when throwing away their ice cream wrapper (yes I’ve read these criticisms too). So pop your package in a nifty case such as PoopPac Dog Walkers Case, which has been especially designed to tote dog waste (www.pooppac.com) with ease and style and no mess or odor, and life for you and your pooch will be swell and you will be loved by all.