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The invisible crisis of air pollution is being highlighted by an innovative new nature-based technology blazing an environmental trail.
And as global leaders descend on Glasgow – one of the UK’s most polluted cities – for COP26 this month, there’s no better time to raise awareness around the devastating impact of the world’s largest health threat.
According to the WHO, a whopping 93 per cent of children breath polluted air every single day.
But with the ongoing climate crisis now reaching a crucial tipping point, nasal health expert Otrivin has launched a unique educational architecture that uses cutting-edge biotechnology to purify the air inside.
The nose is one of our first lines of defence when it comes to filtering out particle pollutants from the air we breathe – and as a world leader in nasal health, Otrivin is demonstrating how nature-based technology can ‘clean’ the air our children breathe in polluted urban environments.
The Otrivin Air Bubble shows us what is possible – using microalgae to actively filter and re-metabolise pollution particles and carbon dioxide in a specially designed interactive environment whilst inspiring us to take simple actions to breath cleaner.
The presence of the Otrivin Air Bubble at COP26 comes after a pilot project in Warsaw, Poland, one of Europe’s most polluted cities.
Farhad Nadeem, Otrivin Global Brand Director, said: “Air pollution is a devastating global health issue that is only getting worse, and it is unacceptable that children bear the burden of it, yet they contribute the least to the problem.
“Otrivin exists to help people breathe better, so with the Air Bubble we wanted people to know that it is possible to clean the air we breathe whilst championing the need for us all to take individual action now, to breathe cleaner.
“The Otrivin Air Bubble is part of our ‘Actions to Breathe Cleaner’ campaign and provides an interactive way to teach visitors about air pollution.
“Alongside it, right now across the UK, school children are taking part in an air pollution monitoring and learning programme.
“Actions to Breathe Cleaner helps children discover through “detective like search” the quality of the air they breathe, the simple everyday actions they can take, such as finding a less polluted route to school, or simply washing their noses, the first line of defence.”
The Polish pilot project was a successful six-month test of the biotechnology also featured in the Air Bubble installation at COP26.
And the results from Poland, were overwhelmingly positive, with an 80 per cent reduction in PM2.5 (particulate matter) levels on average within the Air Bubble, Warsaw, achieving healthier air quality levels and allowing visitors to experience cleaner air in an engaging way.
Children contribute the least to air pollution but are one of the most vulnerable demographics to its effects, with factors such as quicker breathing, taking in more air relative to their body weight and their developing immune systems meaning young people feel the burden of air pollution through their physical health now - and throughout their lifetime.
The Otrivin Air Bubble was developed in partnership with ecoLogicStudio - who specialize in developing scalable, nature-based architectural solutions for urban environments, addressing the imminent impact of climate change – and Dr. Marco Poletto, co-founder of the company, said: "The Air Bubble, Glasgow is a biotechnological architecture made 99% of air, water and living algae cultures, wrapped into a thin, transparent, 100% recyclable TPU membrane.
“It has 24 bioreactors hosting living photosynthetic Chlorella sp algae cultures, which actively “eat” the polluting molecules as well as capture carbon dioxide to then release fresh clean oxygen.
“The Otrivin Air Bubble is mainly powered by two renewable, unlimited sources of energy: the sun light and children's instinctive drive to interact and learn. In this way it creates a purified microclimate, a true bubble of clean air.”
For the duration of COP26, visitors attending the Green Zone are welcome to come down and immerse themselves in the interactive elements of the Otrivin Air Bubble and learn about science, biotechnology and innovative solutions for the urban realm.
Otrivin is hoping that by harnessing the power of health science, microbiology and architecture, we will all be inspired to take immediate action against the health impact of air pollution.
And Sarah McDonald, GSK Consumer Healthcare’s Vice President of Sustainability, added: "As a consumer healthcare company, it is very clear to us that for people to be healthy, they need to be living in a healthy world.
“The two are intimately connected. People need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, nutritious food to eat, and unfortunately, climate change is having an impact on all of those things.
“We hope Actions to Breathe Cleaner will inspire people and encourage them to implement some of the easy to adopt actions that can help them breathe cleaner such as changing their route to school, increasing ventilation at home, monitoring local air quality and taking care of their nasal health.”
To learn more about what you can do to help mitigate against the impact of air pollution through easy to adopt actions visit Otrivin Global - YouTube and take better care of your nasal health.