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

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East Ham 1949

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for East Ham]

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Woodworm infestation and the presence of dry rot in
timber floors continue to be the source of many complaints
from both owners and occupiers. Advice is given and
remedial measures prescribed.
The cause and effect of dry rot and the necessity for
prompt and drastic treatment is often not realised by
owners or workmen engaged in the renewal of affected
floors, etc.
(e) Legal Proceedings.—It was necessary to institute legal proceedings
as under :—
Public Health Act, 1936—-Section 94 131
Food and Drugs Act, 1938—Section 3 1
Rag Flock Act, 1911 1
(/) Drainage.—The number of complaints relative to choked
or defective drains totalled 533. Knowledge of the construction
and capacity of drains on the part of the general
public would appear to be almost negligible. Many of the
unsatisfactory conditions complained of could have been
avoided by proper use and elementary cleansing. Requests
after normal office hours and during week-ends for the
services of a drain cleaner have shown a marked increase
during the year.
(g) Factories, Workplaces and Outworkers.—581 inspections were
made during the year and improvements effected during the
past two years have been well maintained. The number of
outworkers actually employed in the Borough at any given
time fluctuates considerably and appears to be influenced
by trade seasonal demands and of course the desire to
augment the family exchequer from time to time.
(h) Mosquito Control.—Effective treatment of the ditches and
low-lying land in the Borough was carried out and no
complaints of a serious nature arose. Complaints, however,
with regard to fly nuisances were more numerous, and
unfortunately more difficult and less effectively dealt with.
The prolonged spell of warm dry weather was generally