As part of awareness campaign against the toxic air pollution in the national capital, giant-size human lungs installation has been set up at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here to demonstrate the impact of this air on human lungs.

These lungs are fitted with white hepa filters, which due to exposure to the Delhi air will turn black, demonstrating the impact of air pollution on healthy lungs.

“I’ve seen a change in the colour of lungs over the past 30 years that I’ve been operating. Earlier, I used to see black deposits only in smokers and others would have pink lungs. But, nowadays, I only see black lungs. Even teenagers have black spots on their lungs. This is frightening. With this unique installation, we hope to show people the reality of what’s happening to their lungs”, said Dr Arvind Kumar of the hospital.

Each winter, Delhi’s air pollution rises to critical levels. Experts say the impact of such polluted air on public health can be compared to smoking 15-20 cigarettes a day.

“Air pollution has reached alarming levels in Delhi and is causing severe damage to the health of the citizens. We have to act immediately to control this menace, otherwise the heal th consequences will be disastrous. We are already seeing an increasing number of patients in our hospital continuously complain about cough, irritation in throat and nose”, said Dr S P Byotra, vice-chairman of the hospital.

The installation is envisaged as a reminder of a warning issued by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that “The world has turned the corner on tobacco. Now it must do the same for the ‘new tobacco’ ~ the toxic air that billions breathe every day”.

Delhi is widely considered to be one of the most polluted cities in the world.