Mental Floss

Clean Air: everybody's beeswax

David K. Israel
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One of our favorite blogs, Treehugger.com, has a fascinating post on airports in Europe that are putting honeybees to work, testing for air pollution! Check it out here.

Of course air pollution isn't a new phenomenon at all. Many civilizations, even back before the Industrial Revolution, had trouble keeping the air clean.

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A couple hundred years later, England became so dependant on coal, King Edward I, outlawed its burning, exclaiming, ""¦whosoever shall be found guilty of burning coal shall suffer the loss of his head."

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In The Big Smoke: A History of Air Pollution in London since Medieval Times, author Peter Brimblecombe even notes that the original purpose of the black umbrella, long associated with London businessmen, was to ward off "inkey rain" caused from excessive coal burning in the 1700s.

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