The PBB Disaster at 50

Save the Date: May 18-20, 2023 at Alma College in Alma, MI and farms and Superfund sites in the Region.

n 1973 Michigan Chemical Company (owned by Velsicol) in St. Louis, Michigan, accidentally shipped a flame retardant,  polybrominated biphenyl  (PBB), to a livestock feed mill, where it was mixed into animal feed. Despite the destruction of over 30,000 contaminated animals and food products, PBB entered the human food supply exposing an estimated 8.5 million Michiganders. The impact of this contamination, one of the largest in American history, continues to this day.

This conference will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Michigan’s PBB disaster by bringing together scientists, artists, policy makers, and community members to explore the history and legacy of this large-scale contamination. Through this multidisciplinary experience we will bring the critical lessons of the disaster back into public discussion and consciousness, with the hope it will inspire continued action to address long-term environmental and human health outcomes.

This conference is funded by a Humanities Grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and generous support from Alma College, Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and the  Michigan PBB Registry , Central Michigan University,  The Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force , the PBB Community Advisory Board, and US Environmental Protection Agency.

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