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Annotated Bibliography

  • Date Submitted: 03/10/2013 05:45 PM
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Annotated Bibliography of three Articles Examining the Aspect of Sanitation in 1800-1900

Book Article
Smith D, et al. (2001) Poverty, inequality and health in Britain 1800-2000- A reader.   Bristol: Policy Press
This article explores what Edwin Chadwick considered to be the cause of ill health in the Victorian era and the recommendations he made to improve health for the working class. He established that Miasma the result of foul smell from human excrement, decaying bodies and refuse was the cause of disease (Jones K, Moon G 1992).   Chadwick recommended sanitising water, private dwellings and the streets as the solution.
The report ‘The sanitary conditions of the labouring population 1842’ outlined the proposals made and actually came into force after the Liberal Government of 1847 and passed the Public Health Act 1848. Officers were appointed in each parish and if any dwellings were found to be filthy, this was to be reported to the Board of Guardians immediately and cleansing arrangements made. Interviews with various Clerks and Commissioners of parishes was conducted to ascertain what measures had been put in place to combat any of the evils in regards to filth and ill health.
The water polluted with human excrement from overflowing cesspools, was the same water used for human consumption in turn causing water bourne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Commissioner of sewers in the Tower Hamlets (cited in Poverty, inequality and health in Britain 2001) responded that urgent measures were taken to rectify problems of overflowing cesspools without informing landlords and surveyor of roads were expected to deduce the reason of water stoppages. The urgency in solving the problem at hand was paramount at preserving lives before an outbreak occurred.
Edwin Chadwick was a trained lawyer and became secretary to the Poor Law Commission influencing major changes in the lives of the working class. He established Board of Guardians in groups of parishes to...


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