The bumblebee population has been declining in recent years, and many experts are worried about the bug's potential disappearance. Scientists have many theories on what's behind the demise of the bumblebee, though a new study shows pollution from car exhaust and industrial plants could be partly to blame.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, researched bumblebees' behavior and how they reacted to flowers contaminated with metals like nickel and aluminum, common pollutants in the air, and flowers free from the contaminants. From the data, scientists discovered the bees seemed to recognize when a flower was polluted with certain metals, but only after they had visited the blooms. This shows they are already subject to exposure, even if they don't go on to get nectar from polluted plants.
Since pollution from cars and industrial plants has the capability to greatly affect the entire bumblebee population, some may wonder what such problems might do to people. The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health reports environmental pollutants like air pollution from traffic and pesticides, for example, put kids at a greater risk of developing respiratory conditions like asthma, cognitive defects and certain types of cancer.
Parents worried about the health of their families might want to install a professional-grade air purifier like the Airgle PurePal MultiGas AG950 into their homes to keep toxins out.