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Talkin’ About Toxins

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All aboard my train of thought ...

All aboard my train of thought …

I’m thinking about the (really fun, eager-to-accept-more-participants, free-snacks-equipped) art production afternoon for next week’s hearings on natural gas infrastructure toxic emissions. And since these will probably not be the last hearings on air pollution from natural gas emissions, we’ll be adding striking visual statements to our permanent armentarium.* Today’s post is participatory. Put your creative engine into gear and share what you come up with.

Learn more about the event, or join up, or invite your friends here.

So here’s my thinking so far. Susan (that’s Susan Rubin (FB)) Kim (and Kim Fraczek (FB)) are suggesting speech bubbles, so it will look like the people holding the signs are saying what it says on the sign. And we’ve got a list of the nasty toxins** that would be emitted by the facilities they want to build if they’re allowed to build them.

“I don’t want to breathe Benzene”

“I don’t want to suffer neurological damage from 1,1,1, 2-Tetrachloroethane”

“I don’t want my neighbor’s children breathing Formaldehyde”

“1,3-Butadiene is bad for children and other living things”

Directed to the public authority conducting the hearing:

“Who gave you permission to give these people permission to poison our air?”
(endanger my health, poison my children, increase my (my husband’s) risk of cancer (leukemia, endocrine disruption)

“Who gave you permission to give these people permission to do anything?”
(harm us, endanger us)

“Would you allow Methyl Ethyl Disulfide in the air you and your family breathe?”

“Would you let your children breathe Methyl Ethyl Disulfide?”

“Who will be making money while we’re breathing 1, 2-Dichloroethane?”

“You don’t own the air, so you can’t give these people permission to poison it”
(how can you, what gives you the right to)

And thought bubbles:

“I’m afraid of 1,2,4-Trimethyl Benzene”

for an unborn baby: “I hope I’m not born with birth defects because my mom breathes Carbonyl Sulfide”

Now that I’ve come up with a few ideas, I’m confident that if you put your mind to it, you can think up a few of your own. And after you think them up, share them in the comments. SRSLY.

Technical question: We’re planning to make these out of foamcore. Anyone have a good technique for attaching a handle? Or a broomstick or something so it can rest on the floor? Or wear it like a hat?

You were saying?

You were saying?

... but thinking makes it so

… but thinking makes it so

Are you listening to me?

Are you listening to me?


*ar·ma·men·tar·i·um
ˌärməmənˈterēəm/
noun: armamentarium; plural noun: armamentaria
1. the medicines, equipment, and techniques available to a medical practitioner.
▪ a collection of resources available for a certain purpose.”the entire armamentarium of electronic surveillance”


**Benzene; Toluene; Ethylbenzene; Xylenes; 1,3-Butadiene; n-Butyl Alcohol; Carbon Disulfide; Carbonyl Sulfide; Chlorobenzene; Chloromethane; 1, 2-Dichloroethane; Diethyl Benzene; Dimethyl Disulfide; Formaldehyde; Methyl Ethyl Disulfide; Naphthalene; 1,1,1, 2-Tetrachloroethane; Trichloroethylene; Trimethyl Benzene; 1,2,4-Trimethyl Benzene; Styrene; Methane; Ethane; Butane; Propane; Nitrogen Oxide.

If anyone wants to look up the specific toxicities of any of these substances and share the results of your research, please do. Or, better yet, bring them with you to Chappaqua on Monday.

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