According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of city dwellers are breathing polluted air. Smog is linked to respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular disease.
In 2012, Italy had the most pollution-related deaths in Europe. More than 84,000 people in the country died prematurely owing to bad air quality. Milan remains one of the worst polluted cities, not only in the country but also on the continent.
To combat this, scientists have developed a new type of photocatalytic cement that absorbs pollutants and turns them into harmless salts.