Aruni Bhatnagar

Aruni Bhatnagar, a cardiology researcher, said tree leaves take in air pollution. Bhatnagar was in D.C. for the World Forum on Urban Forests with his $15 million Green Heart Louisville project — an initiative aimed at showing a causal connection between greenness and human health, and a potential model for U.S. cities looking to measure the effects of their tree planting. …The project involves more than 50 researchers, four universities, four nonprofit groups, five state and local government agencies, and the U.S. Forest Service. …Roughly $9 million from the Nature Conservancy got things moving. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences provided another $3 million, and local donors contributed $3 million. …The hypotheses Green Heart is testing: whether trees filter air pollution that can stiffen human arteries. Another is whether trees reduce stress and improve sleep by buffering noise. …Bhatnagar is hopeful that other scientists will take note of his study and pursue similar experiments. [Full access to this story requires a subscription to the Washington Post]