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Images of Toxic Chemical Cloud in Spain

2015 February 12
by Shared by Steve Rust

The internet and social media are abuzz today with images and discussion of a toxic chemical explosion in Igualada, Spain outside of Barcelona. An orange cloud of toxic chemicals, created by the unintentional mixing of ferric chloride and nitric acid, spread out over an area covering five cities.  A report by the news agency Reuters speaks to the power of mediated images in drawing our gaze to what ecocinema scholars Robin Murray and Joseph Heumann call “Everday Eco-Disasters” in their recent book of that title.

toxic cloud

These powerful images not only call to mind this specific event but so many others, from the igniting of oil fires on the Cuyahoga river fires of the 1950s and 1960s and the chemical warfare agents like Agent Orange in Vietnam and nerve gas unleashed during the first Gulf War to clouds of acid rain and the burning of toxic chemicals during e-waste salvaging in countries like Ghana.


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