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

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West Ham 1934

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

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Rag Flock Acts 1911 and 1928.
Rag Flock is manufactured at three premises in this Borough.
These places are visited regularly by the Sanitary Inspectors.
In addition there are a number of premises where flock is used
in the making of furniture and bedding.
Thirty-three samples were taken during the year for analysis,
and of these, five did not conform to the standard, although there
was only a small deficiency in each case. Letters of warning were
sent to the offenders.
Offensive Trades.

There are 27 premises in the area where statutory offensive trades are being' carried on. These trades are as follows:—

Nature of Offensive Trade.No. of Premises licenced
Fat Melters and Bone Boilers17
Chemical Manure Manufacturers1
Soap Boilers2
Gut Scrapers2
Fish Meal Manufacturers1
Tripe Dressers1
Animal Charcoal Manufacturers1
Glue Makers1

All these places are visited very frequently by the Sanitary
Inspectors, and during the year 467 inspections were made.
No application was received for the establishment of an
offensive trade, and no complaint was made by the public at large,
as to the conduct of these businesses.
During the late summer, complaints began to arrive relative
to serious infestation of houses by mosquitoes. These complaints
increased rapidly in number until some considerable alarm became
apparent. In an effort to trace the origin of the mosquitoes, the
position of the house occupied by each complainant was marked
on a map of the Borough, when it soon became apparent that the
mosquitoes infested a belt about half a mile wide, extending from
Manor Road to the East Ham boundary, and following the course
of the L.C.C. Northern Outfall Sewer. Inspections were made at
sunset, and it was then found that the mosquitoes were, in fact,
emanating from the ventilator openings from the sewer at various
points. One of the conduits of the sewer was at the time under
repair and out of service, with the result that the channel contained
a thin nearly stagnant deposit of liquid sewage, and this,
in a dark, warm space, evidently provided an ideal breeding ground
for the mosquitoes.