Investigative Journalist Dan Fagin To Discuss “Toms River” At Montclair Library, 7pm


toms_river book coverLovers of skillfully executed investigative reporting and great storytelling will enjoy listening to veteran journalist Dan Fagin discuss his book Toms River tonight, 7pm, at the Montclair Public Library.

A gripping human drama rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is a tale of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed.

Investigative journalist Dan Fagin recounts the sixty-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made Toms River a cautionary example for fast-growing industrial towns from South Jersey to South China. The book melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative.

Author Dan Fagin
Author Dan Fagin

He tells the stories of the pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer, and brings to life the everyday heroes in Toms River who struggled for justice: a young boy whose cherubic smile belied the fast-growing tumors that had decimated his body from birth; a nurse who fought to bring the alarming incidence of childhood cancers to the attention of authorities who didn’t want to listen; and a mother whose love for her stricken child transformed her into a tenacious advocate for change.

Fagin is an associate professor of journalism and the director of the Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program at NYU. He was twice a principal member of reporting teams that were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize during his 15-year stint as the environmental writer at Newsday.


  1. I grew up down there and remember some of the hysteria. What Ciba-Giegy and Union Carbide did was a crime. And who went to jail? Nobody.

  2. The other half of the crime which continues is the evisceration of the NJDEP, turning it from an environmental protection agency to a facilitator for the real estate and banking industry. There are former industrial sites all over the state which developers are being allowed to build on without a full clean-up. One notable example is Oakes Pond at the National Starch & Chemical site on Belleville Ave. in Bloomfield, which continues to leach contaminants into the Third River and groundwater, and which the DEP is not requiring a full clean up.

Comments are closed.

Baristanet Comment Policy:

Baristanet has specific guidelines for commenting. To avoid having your comment deleted -- or your commenting privileges revoked -- read this before you comment. Violators will be banned from commenting.

Report a comment that violates the guidelines to [email protected] For trouble with registration or commenting, write to [email protected]

Commenters on are responsible for all legal consequences arising from their comments, including libel, infringement of copyright or actions that threaten a third party. By submitting a comment, you agree to indemnify Baristanet LLC, its partners and employees from any legal action arising from your comments.

In order to comment on the new system, you need to register a new Baristanet account. To get your own avatar next to your comments, sign up at