To motivate image-conscious Milanese to abandon their cars, Italian authorities are offering free smog tests — for their hair.
Milan is one of Europe’s most polluted cities — and one of the most fashionable.
In a city where levels of particulate matter regularly exceed EU limits, officials have unsuccessfully tried car-free Sundays, smog-eating cement and may adopt London’s car tax.
But on a hunch that impending trichological doom may more effectively persuade people to abandon their cars, Milanese officials are testing the levels of smog trapped in their hair.
For a week — to be repeated in the fall and March 2008 — dermatologists from the International Hair Research Foundation will split hairs at a community center.
The 15-minute check-ups use digital epiluminescence microscopy, normally employed by dermatologists to monitor moles, which allows a high-res look of the surface and sub-surface layers of skin. Full story here.
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