Radio Times

The legacy of toxic dumping in Toms River

April 18, 2014

Guest: Dan Fagin

[From the Radio Times Archives] 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 New York University, came in last year to tell this tragic story in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation.”

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