Nottingham gets 16ft lungs to raise awareness of air pollution

In Nottingham today (October 30), energy firm E.ON has brought a 16ft pair of lungs which they hope will raise awareness of air pollution during half term.

The ‘LUNGS’ installation fills up with different coloured smoke to represent nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and was recently seen on the banks of the River Thames.

The company conducted research in the region, with 88% of locals saying they don’t know enough about air pollution and 86% would do more to tackle it if they knew how.

The company is also organising a ‘Clean Air Classroom’ at local schools to educate children about air pollution and ‘inspire the next generation’.

According to E.ON’s research, over a quarter (28%) of parents in the East Midlands don’t realise energy consumption at home can impact air pollution, and one in ten (11%) East Midlanders think they’re unaffected by air pollution when inside the home.

On average, parents in the East Midlands estimate they’ll be taking four more car journeys this half term and 53% estimate they’ll be using more energy at home.

The installation can be found at Smithy Row off Old Market Square in Nottingham.

Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience at the University of Plymouth, UNESCO Chair in Geoscience and Society and broadcaster said: ‘Despite it being invisible, toxic air is the UK’s number one environmental hazard and public health priority.

‘Exposure to dirty air in the UK has reduced over the last half-century thanks to cleaner energy technologies, improved vehicle regulation and clean air zones in our cities, and certain areas of the East Midlands are really leading the way here.

‘However, we know that no level is a “safe” level, and that there is always more work to be done to clean the air. That is why educating the younger generation is so vital, to ensure the hard work that has been done in the area is carried on into the future.’

Michael Lewis, chief executive of E.ON UK added: ‘Climate change and air pollution are two of the biggest challenges facing the world today.

‘Like climate change, the deteriorating quality of our air is an issue we often can’t see, smell or taste, but something to which we all contribute. These are global issues but ones where individuals and organisations can make a real difference.’