Next time you drink a bottle of water check to see how much methylmercury is in it. If you have a label that Angus Andersen designed, it might say 10 per cent.
Andersen, who lives in St. John’s but is originally from Nain, designed the label to make people think about whether they would drink water with methylmercury in it, a situation possibly faced by many in the Lake Melville area in coming years.
“I’ve been thinking about it quite a while,” he told the Labradorian. “With the flooding of Mud Lake and Beatrice Hunter being incarcerated I thought we should do this to draw attention to the Muskrat Falls project and the methylmercury that’s going to be in our water.”
Andersen put the logos of both the Liberal Party and the Progressive Conservative party in the design, since both parties have been a part of making the project happen.
He said he had a hand-drawn picture of the final product and was showing it to people to see what they thought. He showed it to Jodi Greenleaves, another transplanted Labradorian living on the island and after about a dozen tries, they came up with what you see now.
The feedback from it has been great, he said, with many people copying it and pasting it, putting it on their Facebook, right across the country and down into the U.S, he said.
“It’s simple but it’s still powerful,” he said. “I want people to put these labels on actual water bottles and pass them out. When they’re passing them out people will notice it contains methylmercury, and see if they drink it.”
He said 10 per cent is very high, much higher than anticipated in Lake Melville, but it gets the point across.
“The point is the water will contain methylmercury. I want Canada and the world to see what our government is allowing to happen,” Andersen said. “A couple years ago Premier Ball said himself in public that if people get sick we will compensate him and if animals get sick will take them off our hunting list. That's out right ignorant.”
Andersen is currently looking for financial aid to get labels printed and purchase water bottles, and to pass them out to various strategic offices, such as Nalcor, the Confederation building, and local Liberal and PC offices. He has already received support from NL NDP MHA Gerry Rogers, Federal NDP MP Charlie Angus and NL Independent MHA Paul Lane.