Tainted Michigan: A Look at 40 years of PBB Contamination

Moving Image
Created: 2012


Tainted Michigan: A Look at 40 years of PBB Contamination
Summary: "In 1973 it was discovered that Michigan Chemical accidentally switched the flame retardant chemical PBB with a vitamin additive for cattle feed.

"That contaminated feed was then fed to cattle, pigs, and chickens throughout Michigan. It's estimated that nine out of ten Michiganders consumed contaminated meat, dairy, and poultry during the two years it took to discover the human error.

"For the past 40 years, the Michigan Department of Community Health and now Emory University have been involved in studying the affects consumption of PBB contaminated food has had on human health. Research found an increase in breast cancer, thyroid disease, early puberty in girls, as well as infertility in women born to mothers contaminated with PBB. Phase II of the research is now looking at additional cancers, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and fertility in males born to mothers with PBB contamination.

"To this day, it remains the largest study of human chemical contamination in the world."--2012 Peabody Awards entry form.

Corporate Producers: California Endowment | American Broadcasting Company

Persons Appearing: Valerie Lego

Broadcast Date: 2012-12-29