pam asked the Naked Scientists:
I walk my son to school through parkland that is a popular dog-walking route. Some of the owners do not always clean up after their dogs, leaving "dog dirt" along the trail. As time wears on it is gradually decomposed and processed by the local fauna. I wonder, how long or at what point during this decomposition process does contact with the feces no longer pose a health threat to humans? How does the decomposition rate change as the tempurature changes with the seasons?
Not that I plan on eating it or anything, just wondering when I no longer need to feel completely repulsed if I accidentaly step in it.
Pam in Mississauga, Ontario
What do you think?