Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Washington Post Photo Sends Wrong Message

A photograph and caption that appeared with a September 18 Washington Post film review of the documentary "Earth Days" is misleading. The photograph is a vintage shot of a woman spraying an unidentified aerosol product indoors that was included in a press kit promoting the film. The caption reads: "Earth Days, uses archival video to show environmental abuse such as the use of aerosols and features talks with activists."

The photo caption relates aerosols to environmental abuse although the film says nothing about aerosol products. The only reference to them in the documentary is a brief video segment similar to the photograph shown while a narrator reads an unrelated quote from Rachel Carson. The film is basically a history of environmental concerns depicted through a series of talking heads, mostly activists but some politicians and scientists, and lots of old film footage.

The photo caption fosters the common misperception that aerosol products are somehow environmentally unfriendly. That simply is not true. Yes, more than 30 years ago, many products, including aerosols, contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). However, product manufacturers voluntarily removed CFCs from aerosols after scientists discovered a possible link between the products and harm to the ozone. Most aerosol products were CFC-free before the EPA banned the chemical in 1978, yet some 70 percent of the public still mistakenly believe aerosol products contain CFCs.

It's ironic that the Post would publish such a negative photograph in the same week that the leading money making film, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs , is released and concludes with an aerosol product saving the world. You can learn more about today's environmentally friendly aerosol products by visiting, or

No comments:

Post a Comment