Radio Times

The legacy of toxic dumping in Toms River

June 12, 2013

Guest: Dan Fagin

When chemical companies came to the New Jersey town of Toms River in the 1950s, the community saw good job prospects and a boom for the economy.  In fact, over the next few decades, Toms River thrived, becoming one of the fastest growing municipalities in the state.  But it came at a price. The chemical companies – namely Ciba-Geigy and Union Carbide – were dumping their waste into the river, burying it leaky drums or even pouring it straight into the ground.  When an unusually high incidence of cancer among children appeared in the 1980s and 90s, residents started to worry and ask why.  DAN FAGIN, the director of the science, health, and environmental reporting program at the New York University, tells this tragic story in his new book “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation.” Fagin comes in to talk to Marty about the legacy of industrial pollution, its impact on the community and the difficulty of tracking cancer clusters.

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