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Travelling lung exhibit makes stop in Calgary, shows how pollution affects air we breathe

"Lungs in the Air," a travelling exhibit highlighting the impact of air pollution, stopped in Calgary Sept. 25, 2021. Ashton Samborn/Global News

A traveling exhibit is aiming to drive conversation about air pollution.

“Lungs in the Air,” featuring a pair of 10-metre inflatable lungs, made a stop in Calgary’s East Village Saturday, coinciding with World Lung Day.

Read more: New solutions needed as exposure to wildfire smoke becomes regular occurrence: experts

The massive lungs and interactive website allow people to see what’s in the air they’re breathing.

In a news release, the Canadian Lung Association said air pollution is identified as one of the biggest risk factors for premature death and disability, with more than 15,000 Canadian deaths attributed to air pollution-related causes annually.

Environmental factors such as global warming, ozone layer depletion, pollution and vehicle exhaust all contribute to poor air quality. Health risks from exposure include coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, as well as lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

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The association added with the ongoing climate crisis, we’re seeing more frequent and extreme events like wildfires, which add to the air pollutants and volatile organic compounds in the air we breathe.

Read more: The particles, gases and organisms in wildfire smoke — and what they mean for your health

CLA hopes the campaign will prompt Canadians to take action to help improve air quality and reduce the impact on lung health.

The lungs will travel on to Toronto and Halifax next.

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