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The Problem with Bees: Diesel Exhaust

Posted on October 08, 2013
by Wendy Stackhouse

Einstein on bees


Einstein might be getting pretty nervous these days.

We’ve reported before on the dangers of diesel exhaust:

New Soot Standards Now in Place

Exhaust-Induced Asthma

Diesel Exhaust: Health vs. Truckers

The World Health Organization classifies Diesel Exhaust as Dangerous as Asbestos

But what about the bees?

We read in today’s LA Times that:

“two components of diesel exhaust — nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide — could alter the odor of the many chemicals that combine to give a flower its signature smell. This phenomenon, researchers said, could either hinder or prevent honeybees from reaching their target flowers, and, in the process, inhibit the pollination of the world’s principal food crops.”

We know that exhaust and the particle pollution that comes with it affect human beings directly, causing lost productivity, allergies and illness, exacerbation of respiratory problems and lower test scores in students. But what if it affected our very food supply and the ability for human beings to survive as a species?

At AirTek, we are keeping our eye on environmental challenges which affect our indoor and outdoor air and we will continue to report on what we find. Solving the issue of keeping our pollinating insects alive and thriving is one of those challenges. Let’s hope that regulating diesel exhaust helps us as well as the bees.


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