"Commemoration and Contamination: Remembering Michigan's PBB Mix-Up of the 1970s"

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In 1973 Michigan Chemical Corporation, owned by Velsicol, accidentally shipped a fire retardant, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), in place of a nutritional supplement to a Farm Bureau Services livestock feed mill, which resulted in one of the largest episodes of food contamination in American history. Researchers estimate that nine million people were exposed to PBB, yet there is no memorial or monument commemorating this large-scale contamination. Rather, community meetings, archival and museum collections, and memoirs have served as important means of documenting this history. Taken together, these sources reveal the many ways in which the PBB accident transformed individual lives, communities, agriculture, and science, going beyond traditional forms of public remembrance and raising questions about how and why we should commemorate large-scale contaminations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDefault journal
StateIn preparation - 1800


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