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Toxicity of Open Air to a Variety of Microorganisms


THE discovery of a factor in the local open air which is toxic to E. coli and which probably arises from forms of atmospheric pollution has been described1. To simulate aerosols, we held the bacterial particles on microthreads2 and measured the loss of viability with time during exposure to the night-time open air. The results were compared with those obtained from exposure to clean, enclosed, laboratory air of the same temperature and humidity.

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  1. Druett, H. A., and May, K. R., Nature, 220, 395 (1968).

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  2. May, K. R., and Druett, H. A., J. Gen. Microbiol., 51, 353 (1968).

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  3. Druett, H. A., J. Hyg. Camb. (in the press, 1969).

  4. Fulton, J. D., Appl. Microbiol., 14, 237 (1966).

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MAY, K., DRUETT, H. & PACKMAN, L. Toxicity of Open Air to a Variety of Microorganisms. Nature 221, 1146–1147 (1969).

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