Environmental Health Essay

1879 Words8 Pages
The small Cornish town of Camelford, in the South Western part of England finds itself being commonly referred to as the centre of Britain most serious water pollution incident due to a water contamination event, which took place on 6th July 1988. This report aims to apply the framework of Environmental Health to analyse the environmental health issues and the need for an interdisciplinary approach. Furthermore, it will also explain the principles of environmental health and sustainable development associated with this incident.

The incident involved accidently adding a massive load of aluminium into a reserve distal, which serves the local community. Initial response and management of the incident have been under much scrutiny. Communication about the event and the potential health were sometimes confusing and even contradictory at times causing significant concern amongst the local community residents. Furthermore, in addition to the immediate health effect of such an exposure, health impacts of such events can be potentially ongoing and in the case of Camelford, nearly two decades after the incident many citizens of the community still continue to report health concerns that they attribute to the event (Powell et al., 1995).

The incident
On 6th July 1988 a relief tanker driver accidently released twenty tonnes of aluminum sulfate into the mains supply in Lowermoor Water Treatment Works subsequently contaminating the water, which supplies to a large area of north Cornwall. Approximately 20, 000 individuals were exposed to this contaminated water (Phyllis, 2008).

This contamination was substantial, the maximum recorded aluminum concentration was 620,000 μg/l compared with the maximum concentration admissible at the time by th...

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...be ongoing, so the pubic can get advice on new concerns if and when they arise. Consideration must be given as to correctly identify the exposed populations for inclusion in monitoring especially if the exposed area has a large number of people migrating (such as the case for Camelford).

Poor drinking water supply and quality and poor sanitation are among the world’s major caused of preventable morbidity and mortality. Water contamination outbreaks occur all too often. It is likely that many outbreaks remain undetected and beyond the reported outbreaks, there is an unrecognized background burden of disease. There is a risk that outdated methods may not effectively identify and prevent water contamination. Advances in technology, which can aid the detection and prevention of contaminants, environmental health and sustainability should be encouraged and are needed.
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