Danny DeVito to Make ‘Toms River Cancer-Cluster’ Saga into Movie
When I was about 11 or 12 years old, a lot of friends and neighborhood kids were getting sick. They would disappear from school, and tragically, some would never return.
Little did I know that I was living in the heart of the section of Toms River that experienced an alarming rate of childhood cancer.
I remember the fear and the questions among parents. Many speculated that this happening because of then Toms River-based chemical company Ciba-Geigy.
A chemical was found in our drinking supply. I say 'a chemical,' because at the time it didn't have a name. Now it does. Styrene-acrylonitrile trimer, or SAN Trimer. While we know that our drinking water was contaminated with industrial waste, scientists have still been unable to link that to the staggering amount of childhood cancer cases in Toms River.
In 2013, Dan Fagic wrote a book about the controversy called 'Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation.' It won a Pulitzer prize.
It was announced today that Monmouth County native Danny DeVito has optioned the book and is going to take the tale of Toms River and its pollution to the big screen.
From public outrage to the local and corporate politics, it's quite a story that will most likely have wide appeal outside of New Jersey.
Interestingly, one of DeVito's children was a producer on 'Erin Brockovich' which tells a similar story of pollution in a small town.