Artist Turns Smog Into Bricks
Last week, the Chinese capital of Beijing issued the highest ever alert for pollution, the first-ever red alert. Schools and construction sites were closed and the government encouraged residents to use public transportation, to limit the number of cars on the road.
Meanwhile, one artist has transformed some of Beijing's notorious air pollution into art. Matt Rivers has more.
--REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS--
THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN YOU VACUUM AIR POLLUTION. AND THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN YOU USE THE TINY, TOXIC PARTICLES YOU COLLECT TO HELP MAKE A BRICK. THE MAN BEHIND IT IS AN ARTIST CALLED BROTHER NUT.
(Brother Nut/ Artist) "Some people think this is ridiculous to vacuum dust in the air."
BUT HE'S DOING IT TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT CHINA'S AIR QUALITY. SO HE SPENT 100 DAYS WALKING THE STREETS OF BEIJING, TOWING HIS VACUUM, SUCKING UP THE POLLUTION BEIJINGERS BREATHE IN. WE SAW HIM ON A DAY WITH BLUE SKIES, BUT MOST OF HIS WORK COMES FROM DAYS THAT LOOK LIKE THIS. HE COLLECTED OVER 100 GRAMS OF POLLUTION, MUCH OF IT MADE UP OF SMALL PARTICLES SOME 30 TIMES SMALLER THAN A STRAND OF HUMAN HAIR.
(Tristan Evely/ International SOS) "They can go right inside our lungs, right into the blood stream."
TRISTAN EVELY IS A MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR INTERNATIONAL S-O-S AND SAYS THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF BREATHING IN AIR THIS POLLUTED ARE DEADLY.
(Tristan Evely/ International SOS) "Asthma, chronic obstructed airways disease, and even things like heart attacks because the pollution can trigger that as well."
AIR POLLUTION CAN BE MADE OF EVERYTHING FROM SOOT TO HEAVY METALS LIKE ARSENIC AND LEAD, LIKELY NOW A PART OF BROTHER NUT'S POLLUTION BRICK. HERE'S A PICTURE OF HIM POURING THE DUST INTO A BRICK MOLD.
(mos) Air pollution is a problem for everyone. And now, we're being deprived of our right to breathe fresh air.
HIS ART PROJECT WENT VIRAL, PERHAPS NOT SURPRISING IN A CITY WHERE 21 MILLION RESIDENTS HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLLUTION EVERY DAY.
(mos) "Brother Nut says someone 1600 US dollars to buy this brick but it's not for sale. He says the goal was not about making a profit, but about raising awareness by putting pollution in the palm of your hand."
MATT RIVERS, CNN, BEIJING.
Encyclopedia Article: Encyclopedia of Environmental Studies, Smog
May Need Password
Website Article: Time for Kids: China
Website Article: beijingkids, Where's Your Filter? Protect Yourself from Air Pollution with Purifiers and Masks