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News The Big Picture

Creating a debate on air pollution

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2590 (Published 13 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2590
  1. Alison Shepherd
  1. The BMJ

The British artist Luke Jerram inspects his latest installation, Inhale, which represents a diesel soot particle, created three million times larger than real size and using coal and various chemical substances. The 3 m tall sculpture was commissioned by the Our City Our Health project of the University of the West of England at Bristol.

“The artwork was in part inspired by the recent VW diesel scandal and a friend whose young child suffers from asthma,” said Jerram.

A World Health Organization report published in May stated that more than 80% of people living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. While all regions of the world are affected, populations in low income cities are affected the most.

As urban air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, all increase, the report said.

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