- London - Scientists have good news for
millions of reluctant gardeners - cutting the grass causes pollution.
- The smell of a newly-trimmed lawn is
caused by a burst of a chemical cocktail from the "wounded" plant.
- The dozen substances include methanol,
acetaldehyde, acetone and butanone which can cause the summer smog that
plagues Britain's cities. And putting clippings on compost heaps make matters
- As the grass starts to dry the emissions
are stronger and last for hours.
- Researchers say that the harvesting of
crops adds 1.6 million tons of acetone to the eight million tons released
naturally into the atmosphere each year.
- Experts at the US National Oceanographic
and Atmospheric Administration and Colorado University believe the chemical
warfare is a response by plants to being "attacked" by mower
- Professor Ray Fall, university head of
chemistry and biochemistry, said: "Every time even a cow chomps the
grass you get these little surges.
- "It seems so unlikely the smell
of freshly-mown grass is toxic."