In just 24 hours, white ‘lungs’ turn black in an experiment to check air pollution in Lucknow
“We thought the model of lungs will take at least six days to change colour, as it happened in New Delhi, but here (in Lucknow) it just took 24 hours,” said Ekta Shekher, founder of The Climate Agenda, an NGO, which installed the artificial lungs.Updated: Jan 12, 2019 15:31 IST
The white ‘model’ of human lungs, installed at the Jhandi Park, near Nagar Nigam office here on Thursday, turned black on Friday, thereby pointing towards the highly polluted air that Lucknowites breathe.
“We thought the model of lungs will take at least six days to change colour, as it happened in New Delhi, but here (in Lucknow) it just took 24 hours. Today’s AQI (Air Quality Index) is 320, which is very poor air quality,” said Ekta Shekher, founder of The Climate Agenda, an NGO, which installed the artificial lungs.
“It’s a wake-up call for the government and the people, too. We have to be alert to the quality of air we breathe,” said Prof Surya Kant, HoD, respiratory medicine department of KGMU.
Breathing very poor quality air causes significant increase in respiratory discomfort which is also experienced by healthy and young people, said Dr Sandeep Kapoor, director, Healthcity Hospital.
The artificial lungs have high-efficiency particulate absorber (HEPA) filters, with fans installed behind them that throw environmental air through the filter.
Experts said activities that contribute to air pollution need to be monitored strictly. “Regulating use of vehicles and construction activities is need of the hour. There is a national building rule for new constructions but they are hardly followed,” said Prof Surya Kant.
“The 8 feet by 12 feet artificial lungs, made of HEPA filter, have given a strong message in just a day. As per reports, we lost more than 2,60,000 lives in Uttar Pradesh and nationally more than 12 lakh in year 2017 just because of air pollution and its time we focus on the air we breathe,” said Ekta Shekher.
One of the steps that can reduce air pollution is ensuring flow of traffic because traffic jams cause pollution, an expert said.