We were commissioned to illustrate a reader’s question, to be answered by experts. In this instance, Beijing as has been issued its first ever red alert over smog levels and with pollution levels in several Chinese cities reaching new highs for several years, Chinese citizens are choking. What are the health risks of short term exposure?

We wanted to address the brutal reality of life inside one of the world's most polluted cities, with our copy to be sitting in dense industrial smoke, slightly obscuring it and making its reading a little difficult. The treatment was created using photographic thick billowy dirty fumes mixed with graphic type.