Poisoning of Michigan (Second Edition) / Edition 2

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The highly toxic PBB poisoning of Michigan remains the most widespread chemical contamination known in U.S. history. The Poisoning of Michigan is an investigative journalist's account of the contamination of Michigan's dairy cattle with the highly toxic chemical PBB (polybrominated biphenyl) in 1973. A near relation of PCB, this now-banned substance, designed as a fire retardant, was mistaken for a nutritional supplement at a chemical plant. It ended up in cattle feed that was distributed to farms throughout the state. By the time the error was discovered, virtually all nine million residents of Michigan had been ingesting contaminated milk and meat for almost a year.
     A new introduction by the author and an afterword by three distinguished environmental scientists explain how the legacy of Michigan's poisoning lives on—and how equally toxic substitutes for PBB still invade our homes and lives. This new edition of Egginton's environmental classic—first published in 1980 and long out of print—tells how the tragedy affected both the farm community and the wider populace, and how federal and state authorities failed to respond. "We were mired in a swamp of ignorance," one state official admitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870138676
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 686,819
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Joyce Egginton is the author of six other books including the New York Times best-seller From Cradle to Grave. For twenty years she was New York Correspondent for The Observer of London.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 1

List of Abbreviations 3

Foreword 5

Preface: The Courageous Few 13

Pt. 1 An Unknown Toxin

1 Prelude to Disaster 19

2 A Mountain of Trouble 28

3 Working Against Time 39

4 Clue from a Machine 44

5 Family Tragedy 56

6 A Bureaucratic Decision 59

7 More Pieces of the Puzzle 69

8 Needle in the Haystack 77

Pt. 2 In Search of Proof

9 Chemicals to Save Lives 87

10 In Quarantine 105

11 Recontamination Begins 116

12 What the Experts Knew 127

13 The Road to Kalkaska 137

14 Beyond Medical Experience 149

15 Farmer Against Farmer 159

16 Only a Litmus Test 170

17 A Doctor's Dilemma 180

18 The First Crusader 192

19 When No News Is Bad News 195

20 Conference in a Kitchen 206

21 Unlikely Odyssey 215

Pt. 3 The Human Factor

22 Death of a Herd 235

23 A Moral Judgment 249

24 Politicians Versus Scientists 260

25 Unconventional Medicine 273

26 Trial of Strength 288

27 End of the Road 304

Epilogue: The Ultimate Experiment 323

Afterword 333

References 345

Index 357

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