'Something In The Air' -- new film demonstrates that the effects of air pollution may be worse than we know

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

"Something In The Air"  -- new film demonstrates that the effects of air pollution may be worse than we know. Image Copyright: Leif Caldor and and Zoot Pictures. Used with permission.

Matthew is a bright, active 10-year-old boy. He loves playing outside and just tried out for hockey. But he also has asthma, and had to leave the city and move to the country -- because he couldn't breathe. He doesn't live in Delhi or Beijing, his family had to move from Toronto. Pollution is killing tens of thousands of people every day around the world. And it's something that we as Canadians don't often think or talk about, but it's a growing problem and in some cases is starting to be seen as a global crisis.

Leif Kaldor and Face2Face host David Peck talk about the new film Something in The Air, pollution as a global and invisible crisis, behavioural change, nano particles, hot spots and mental health and why air is the great equalizer.

Cities across Asia and Europe have had to shut down and stop traffic to manage "airpocalypse" pollution events when the air is unsafe for the people who live there.

New research is showing the answer may be worse than we knew. Pollution causes a range of respiratory diseases, and even short exposure can change how our DNA functions. New science is finding that microscopic bits of air pollution may be able to travel from your nose directly into your brain, and could be causing dementia in humans.

About the director: Leif Kaldor, director/co-writer of Something in the Air, is a writer, director and producer of award-winning television and cross-platform projects. Eschewing professional motocross for business, Leif has been running small and medium-sized businesses since 1980 in emerging technology (satellite receiving systems), music (independent label and touring), interactive media, and film and television. Leif has directed drama, written and directed documentaries, written for radio, produced music CDs and videos, and been the creative force behind a range of interactive projects. In addition to his television awards, Leif is a Juno Award-winning music producer and a Gemini Award-winning multimedia producer. He directs lifestyle, documentary and dramatic programs.

Leif directed and co-wrote the one-hour CBC Doc Zone episode Remote Control War, which has won numerous awards including a 2011 Rockie Award; MS Wars for CBC The Nature of Things in 2012. He directed and co-wrote three seasons of the travelling food series The Prairie Diner and has directed documentaries on subjects as diverse as Shaolin Kung-Fu, fracking for shale gas, drones, and preachers who lose their faith.

Zoot Pictures documentaries are distributed worldwide. Their latest project, Something in the Air, about air pollution, aired in February 2019 on CBC The Nature of Things, and is distributed worldwide by PBS International.


Image Copyright: Leif Caldor and and Zoot Pictures. Used with permission.

F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.

For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.

With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Help make rabble sustainable. Please consider supporting our work with a monthly donation. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.