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The ‘Giant Lungs’ that were unveiled by a city-based hospital Saturday took just few days to burst and damage the city air.

The installation was part of a campaign that was launched by Help Delhi Breathe initiative, the Lung Care Foundation, and Ganga Ram Hospital.

The lungs, which were fitted with white hepa filters have started turning black because of the air. This change only shows the impact of air pollution on healthy lungs, a health expert said.

“I have seen a change in the colour of lungs over the past 30 years that I have 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 is happening to their lungs,” said Dr Arvind Kumar, Founder Trustee, Lung Care Foundation, Chairman – Centre for Chest Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

According to the hospital and the organizers, the installation is a reminder of a warning issued by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who feels: “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,”

Every winter, Delhi’s air pollution rises to critical levels. Experts say the impact of the foul 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 the menace. Otherwise, the health consequences will be disastrous. We are already seeing an increasing number of patients in our hospital continuously complaining about a cough, irritation in throat and nose,” said Dr SP Byotra, Vice-Chairman, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

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