Amid increasing concerns about air pollution, and the climate crisis as a whole, E.ON energy installed a 16ft statue of a pair of lungs on Smithy Row last week to raise awareness. Different coloured smoke represent the pollutants; nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and PM 2.5.
The statues have been installed at 5 locations across the East Midlands in Derby, Loughborough, Nottingham, Lincoln and Leicester. Research from E.ON in the East Midlands found that 88% of people feel they do not know enough about air pollution. The World Health Organisation has found that globally, pollutants cause 8.8m early deaths each year making air pollution a bigger killer than tobacco smoking. Scientists from the Forum of International Respiratory Societies warned:
“Air pollution can harm acutely, as well as chronically, potentially affecting every organ in the body.”
According to a report by Public Health England (PHE), the health and social care costs of air pollution in England could reach £5.3 billion by 2035 unless extensive action is taken. Further to this, in 2017, costs were £42.88 million. Coronary heart disease, strokes, lung cancer and child asthma are widely associated with air pollution. PHE stress if current air pollution levels continue, there could be 2.5 million new cases of all of the above diseases by 2035.
Worryingly, air pollution is a threat to healthy lung development in children both before and after birth. The British Lung Foundation asserts that exposure to pollutants can affect the growth of lung function in the womb. Further to this, children are significantly more vulnerable to air pollution as their airways are much smaller and still developing.
E.ON energy was at the forefront of the fossil fuel industry prior to January 2016 when Uniper assumed control of the German energy giant’s fossil fuel assets. The company now focuses on investing in renewables, energy networks, and energy efficiency services.
Featured Image courtesy of Airtopia via Facebook.
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