Monday, January 20, 2014

Poster of the Week

Do You Give A Shit About Water Pollution?
Mark Heller
Steve Gottlieb, Photographer
Personality Posters
Offset, 1971
New York, New York

This 1971 poster uses irony to call attention to the issue of water pollution—an issue that made international headlines this past week.
Before people were warned against about a disastrous chemical leak in Charleston, West Virginia on January 9, 2014, they ate, drank and bathed as usual.  After people began to be hospitalized and reports of burned scalps, blistered throats, open sores on bodies and nausea began to be reported, they were finally warned not to used their tap water for ANYTHING but flushing the toilet. A chemical spill from a company absurdly named “Freedom Industries” left 300,000 West Virginians without tap water for days, sparking a state of emergency. Even after the ban was partially lifted, pregnant women were warned not to drink the water, and the reality is that there is so little information about the chemical that much remains unknown. The plant hadn’t been inspected since 1991.  To add insult to injury, Freedom Industries filed for bankruptcy on January 17.
Chemical safety is not a West Virginia problem, it’s a national problem, said Devra Davis, a founding member of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and now president of the Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit group.
“It would be farcical were it not so grave. This is a huge threat,” she said. “In a sense, we all live downstream now.”
When will we ever learn.
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