Huge ‘breathing lung’ installations travel country to raise awareness of air pollution

Starting their campaign on November 14 to mark ‘Clean Air Day’, the Polish Smog Alert (PAS) rolled out the two-metre models of human lungs which ‘breathe’ using ventilators placed on their back and gradually change from being white to grey or even black colours. Polski Alarm Smogowy

An organisation fighting for cleaner air in Poland is taking mobile “lung” installations to 40 Polish towns to show local residents the poor quality of the air they breathe and to encourage them to replace old coal burning furnaces.

Starting their campaign on November 14 to mark ‘Clean Air Day’, the Polish Smog Alert (PAS) rolled out the two-metre models of human lungs which ‘breathe’ using ventilators placed on their back and gradually change from being white to grey or even black colours.

Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

This visual effect is meant to raise local inhabitants' awareness of air quality and to encourage them to take advantage of government subsidies for replacing old coal-fired furnaces before restrictions on burning coal take effect.Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

This visual effect is meant to raise local inhabitants' awareness of air quality and to encourage them to take advantage of government subsidies for replacing old coal-fired furnaces before restrictions on burning coal take effect.

Project coordinator Magdalena Kozlowska said: "We can see that the campaign is bringing results.

Project coordinator Magdalena Kozlowska said: "When they see that the lungs are getting darker day by day, local residents begin to understand that the quality of air is important and that the pollution that we breathe in has an adverse effect on our health.”  Magdalena Kozlowska/Twitter

"When they see that the lungs are getting darker day by day, local residents begin to understand that the quality of air is important and that the pollution that we breathe in has an adverse effect on our health.”

She added that PAS is trying to select towns that have no air quality measurement in place.

The mobile “lung” installations have been sent to 40 Polish towns to show local residents the poor quality of the air they breathe and to encourage them to replace old coal burning furnaces.Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

Some Polish provinces have introduced a total ban on the oldest and most polluting coal furnaces, which will come into effect in 2022.

Users will have several years to adapt to new regulations.