London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Dagenham 1957

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Dagenham]

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This service continues to meet a real need in the home at a time when help is usually
most urgent. Each year since its commencement in December 1953 the demand for the
service has increased. Soiled articles are collected and laundered articles returned
each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A small metal bin is provided in the home for
the reception of soiled articles after they have been rinsed in cold water.
The service worked well and the co-operation of the laundry staff at Barking Hospital
continues to be excellent.
From the commencement of the service to the end of the year 139 cases have received
assistance. During the year 33 new cases have been helped, 18 cases died and
nine were removed to hospital or no longer needed the service. At the end of the year
18 cases were still participating in the service. The number of articles laundered
during the year was 11,492 compared with 8,551 articles for the previous year.
Systematic observations are made of the chimneys of industrial premises; there was
no need for statutory action during the year. The Council continue to operate at the
Civic Centre and in the vicinity of Valence House instruments for the measurement of
air pollution.
Several lectures, with the title "The Air We Breathe," were given to local organisations.
The problem (both local and national) of air pollution was stated together with
the opportunities available to individual householders to co-operate in ensuring an
Clean Air Act, 1956
The provisions of the Act which control the installation of new furnaces are dealt
with by the Public Health Committee; the control of the height of new chimneys is the
responsibility of the Housing and Town Planning Committee subject to the concurrence
of the Public Health Department with each proposal.
The Council supported the efforts made in opposing the Order transferring powers
in respect of certain works and processes from local authorities to the alkali inspectorate.
Smoke Control Areas
The Council agreed in principle, in co-operation with the neighbouring Borough of
Ilford, to make the Marks Gate housing estate the first smoke control area established
in this Borough under the 1956 Act. The Dagenham section of the estate covers nearly
130 acres and when completed will contain about 1,000 dwellings. Action was deferred
until after the joint conference of local authorities in the East London Area held at
Leyton in October 1957 at which matters of common interest in regard to air pollution
were discussed.