Come across a poster like the two above on your commute recently? Laid out in classic MTA style, but adorned with Orwellian imagery and an appropriately ambiguous hashtag, they warn of two possible hazards to your health: an upcoming “airborne non-toxic test” in which the NYPD will disperse “harmless, colorless gas” around the five boroughs, and an at-risk nuclear reactor that’s just 28 miles from NYC.
Relax, they’re not real. How do we know? Because MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg, who dismissed the postings as “the work of pranksters,” told us so. But don’t get too comfortable–though neither of the posters were distributed by the MTA or any other state or city agency, both are totally truthful in their contents.
The NYPD will indeed be pumping the city with invisible gases called perflourocarbos this summer, in an effort to test how more harmful airborne substances would spread in the event of a chemical attack, and the nuclear power plant at Indian Point Energy Center is so at risk and so close to the city the Natural Resources Defense Council warns of a disaster ten to 100 times worse than Fukushima if it ever encounters seismic activity.
So, did the MTA decide you to warn you about some of the more frightening goings on around town? No. Should you be worried anyway? That’s up to you.