Friday, 3 June 2011

Mummies hold clues to ancient air pollution

Roger Montgomerie, a doctoral student at the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at the University of Manchester, has been investitgating mummified lung tissue in an attempt to identify and study particulates in multiple Egyptian mummies.

He examined 15 mummified lungs, including those of noblemen and priests, and found particulates at levels not much below what would be expected in modern-day lungs.

Particulates are microscopic particles which irritate lungs and have been linked to an array of modern illnesses, including heart disease, lung ailments and cancer. They are linked to post-industrial activities, such as fossil-fuel burning.

Montgomerie is burning different sources of fuel used by the Egyptians and capturing the particulates they create. "What I can do is go back to the ancient soot, from the ancient lung tissue, and compare the two," he said in a report in Live Science.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Follow by Email