THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH. Professor Hughes Bennett. For the branch of dermatology he claimed that if its rights to separate recognition...

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THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

Professor Hughes Bennett. For the branch of dermatology he claimed that if its rights to separate recognition were to be estimated by the area implicated they could point to an extent of territory unequalled by any other region, the brain and nervous system, regarded microscopically, perhaps excepted. He referred to the subjects of ringworm, psoriasis and lupus erythematosus, subjects down for discussion in connexion with the activity of sebaceous glands and the action of alcohol. Three remedies were more or less beneficialsulphur, chrysarobin and pyrogallic acid-they had the power to affect the soil. A discussion on Ringworm was introduced by Dr. COLCOTT Fox, who, after reviewing the systems of treatment, spoke highly of the use of croton oil in severe cases. Shaving and washing the scalp were also advocated. Dr. PHINEAS ABRAHAM presented, on behalf of Dr. Sabourand of the Saint Louis Hospital, Paris, a typical series of Cultivations and Microscopical Preparations of the Fungi of various kinds of Ringworm. Dr. Sabourand’s important investigations have attracted much attention, but few in this country have had the opportunity of seeing the actual specimens until the present occasion. The discussion was continued by Dr. Alfred Eddowes, Dr. Allan Jamieson, Dr. David Walsh, Dr. Abraham, Dr. Thin and Dr. Radcliffe Crocker. Dr. TniN differed from those who advocated the use of croton oil in ringworm. Dr. RADCLIFFE CROCKER defended Dr. PHINEAS ABRAHAM its adoption in certain cases. discussed ringworm from several points, including some interesting observations on the influence exerted on ringworm by the weather. Dr. NORMAN WALLER and Dr. BROOKE also contributed to the discussion, which was continued by Dr. BALMANNO SQUIRE and Dr. COLCOTT Fox. As regards the use of croton oil, the weight of opinion was against it as a powerful irritant, save in a certain number of cases. A proposition, moved by the PRESIDENT in the absence of Professor MCCALL ANDERSON, "That it be represented to the General Medical Council that students presenting themselves for the final examination for a diploma or degree should produce evidence of their having had opportunities for the study of the commoner forms of Skin Diseases," was not carried ; but after a long debate an amendment, moved by Dr. RADCLIFFE CROCKER and seconded by Dr. Fox, was passed"That in the opinion of this meeting, since the five years’ curriculum has been established for only a short period, it would be advisable to defer the resolution proposed to a future meeting. " The PRESIDENT read a paper entitled "Therapeutic Notes on

Einol,’

a new

preparation.

A number of new dermatological instruments were exhibited by Dr. Abraham.

THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH. THE annual Congress of the British Institute of Public Health was opened on Thursday of last week in Edinburgh. The meetings of the Congress were held in class-rooms in the University-viz., in the old buildings. At the ordinary meeting on Thursday Sir Charles Cameron vacated the chair and was succeeded by Dr. Henry D. Littlejohn, medical officer of health for the city of Edinburgh. The Congress met in three sections-namely, Preventive Medicine, under the presidency of Dr. J. B. Russell of Glasgow ; Sanitary Engineering, under Professor Armstrong of Edinburgh University ; and Chemistry and Climatology, under Professor A. Crum Brown. In addition to the sectional meetings, excursions and visits to places of interest in the city and neighbourhood were arranged. The Lord Provost and town council gave a reception in the Museum of Science and Art, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh gave one in the Picture

Gallery on the Mound, and the Lord Provost and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh severally entertained the leading members of the Congress to dinner. Additional public interest was given to the meetings by the presence of the Lord Mayor of London and the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

a

The President’s iddmess. Dr. LITTLEJOHN, on taking the Presidential chair, delivered short address. He traced the growth of the city and the

335

schemes which had been carried out for the improvement of the dwelling-houses in its older parts. He then gave an account of the history of the water-supply from the time of the abolition of private wells to the present time ; and he stated his opinion that it was again necessary to add to the sources from which the city supply was obtained. The Moorfoot water, which was peaty, had been greatly improved by the method of filtration employed. Dealing next with the question of sewage, he said that the slop water of the Old Town had for two hundred years made its way to the sea and in its course had converted a sandy waste into one of the most fertile spots in Midlothian, for which a yearly sum of E40 an acre was obtained. The New Town had its sewage conveyed in iron pipes out to sea, and the important question of how to avoid the sewage being carried back by the tide had been settled. No nuisance was caused by the passage of the enormous volume of sewage into the Firth of Forth. The fish supply had in no way been injured nor had the’ amenity of the foreshores been interfered with. The solid refuse was removed daily, so that there were no ash-pits. The disposal of the solid refuse was one of the matters at present engaging their attention ; at one time that material was worth 4s. a ton, whereas now it would not be accepted gratuitously. They had therefore decided to try destructors. He then referred to the difficulty that Glasgow and other towns were experiencing in the absorption of smaller but adjoining districts with separate authorities and showed how Edinburgh had long ago faced and overcome the difficulty. He further indicated the steps which had been taken with regard to burialplaces in the city. He considered that there were still two blots upon the civic life of the city-viz, the constant noise attendant on their street traffic and the damage done to their lungs and houses by the waste of fuel in the shape of smoke.

Section of Preventive Medicine. In this section the first paper was read by Dr. LESLIE MACKENZIE, Medical Officer for Wigtonshire, on ’’ technical Hygiene in the Counties-an Educational Problem." In the discussion which followed there was a difference of opinion as to the desirability of adding Hygiene to the subjects taught in elementary schools and Dr. SYDNEY MARSDEN advocated rather the education of those who had to administer the health laws. Miss CHARLOTTE SMITH (Southsea) read a paper entitled "A Plea for Female Sanitary Inspectors." The other papers were a Brief Note on the Sanitary Certification of Dwelling-houses, by Mr. Edgar Flinn of Dublin, and Present-day Obstacles to Sanitary Reform, by Dr. Simpson of Perth. Section of Sanitary Engineering. The PRESIDENT (Professor Armstrong), in opening this section, delivered a short address on the connexion which the science of engineering had with the maintenance and promotion of public health. He threw out some suggestions as to some of the directions in which modern hygiene seemed to point as being those in which it was specially desirable that investigations should be carried forward. He specified in this relation the disposal of sewage upon land, the question as to whether a water-supply should ever be taken from a river that was liable to contamination by town sewage and the mode of disposal of the general solid refuse in towns. With reference to the last of these and to the use of destructors he thought it probable that this method might effect a noteworthy advance in municipal sanitation. The remainder of the sitting of this section was taken up with papers and a discussion on the Construction of Fever Hospitals, the speakers being mainly architects and the papers bearing chiefly on architecture. Seci’ÏOI/; of Chemistry and Climatology. After a few remarks from the President, Professor MACADAM opened a discussion on the Analyses of Potable Waters and the value which should be placed on each ingredient contained in such water. In reference to the saline constituents, he stated that he was strongly in favour of waters containing a small amount of saline matter and that he did not consider that the salts contained in water were of any value for the construction of the bony skeleton as was so often stated. The presence of nitratesand nitrites should not be tolerated except possibly in chalk districts. No such districts Chlorine was were known except in the South of England. a good indicator, but reliance must not be placed too much on this ingredient, as in places near the sea very considerable amounts might be present without the water being actually impure. The moist combustion process was also valuable,

CHOLERA.

336

Dr. CHALMERS (medical officer of health, Glasgow) read 7out failed in certain cases, as with waters containing vegetable peat-matter, when high results were obtained without a communication on the Means of Prevention of Small-pox. ’true pollution- The gases, or rather the relative proportions In this he strongly insisted upon the necessity for the definite vf the gases to one another, were of very great value. The isolation of the patient affected by small-pox-meaning by waters which acted most strongly on lead were those contain- that, instantaneous removal to the hospital.-Dr. Whydoch ’Ing much carbonic anhydride. (Belfast), Dr. Simpson (Perth) and Councillor McFarlane Dr. T. G NASMYTH read a paper on Water Analysis. (Glasgow) joined in the discussion. Dr. SIMS WOODHEAD read a paper on Protective InoculaSir CHARLES CAMERON and others took part in the dis’cussion which followed. tion, arguing that there were different forms of protective inoculation simply from the fact that we did not yet underFRIDAY, JULY 28TH. stand the diseases thoroughly. He advocated the adoption of The Section of Preventive l6Tedicine. a system under which men should devote themselves specially In this section Dr. J. E. SQUIRE of London read a paper to the preparation of inoculative material. A discussion ’entitled " Should Pulmonary Consumption be included in the followed. Notification Act?" He held that the inclusion of phthisis Dr. HUNTER STEWART (Edinburgh) dealt with Ventilation mongst the notifiable diseases would do much to prevent the of Public Buildings, Dr. CARMICHAEL spoke on Air and ’distribution of the disease.-Dr. COOPER-PATTIN (Norwich) Ventilation in Relation to Public Health, and Dr. MCVAIL supported Dr. Squire’s contention and pointed out the source (medical officer of health for Dumbart on and Stirlingshire) cf danger that existed in old houses.-Dr. PHILIP (Edinburgh) read a paper on Varioloid or Varicella. :argued in the same direction and referred to instances he had Chemistry and Climatol()gy. met with in which a house had infected successive families of Chemistry and Climatology Mr. JOHN In the Section .occupying it. Other speakers, including Dr. Wells (Mans- AITKEN described instruments invented by him for observing field), Dr. Russell (Glasgow) and Dr. Blair Cunynghame dust The results arrived at by him in the course of particles. referred to the technical difficulties that would {(Edinburgh), the air of the West .arise if tuberculosis were included amongst the infectious five years’ observations showed that Highlands of Scotland was usually freer from dust particles ’diseases requiring to be notified. Next followed papers and a discussion on the control and than that at the top of the Rigi Kulm in Switzerland. Dr. T. EwAN and Dr. BAILEY (Manchester) contributed a ’Inspection of meat supply. The first was by Councillor POLLARD (Edinburgh) on Abattoirs, with special reference paper on Solid Impurities of the Air. The other papers in this on Pollution of Streams by Paper-making Dis’to the Central Slaughterhouses in Berlin.-Principal WALLEY section were the Methods employed for the Arrestment of such and charges ,of the Royal Veterinary College, Edinburgh, submitted his paper on "Meat Marking and the Control of Meat Pollution, by Dr. Stevenson Macadam, Edinburgh; Some Facts about by Dr. John Hunter, Edinburgh ; on Water ’Supply," in which he dealt with the two sources of supply- Pollution, bySoils, Mr. Robert Irvine, Granton ; and on Sewage home and foreign.-Dr. MAXWELL Ross (Dumfriesshire) read a paper on "Methods of Dealing with Outbreaks of In- Precipitation, by Dr. G. C. Purvis, Edinburgh. In the Sanitary Engineering Section the only two papers " fectious Diseases in connexion with Dairies." He advocated contributed were on the Loch Katrine Waterworks, by ’compensation to dairy farmers. Mr. J. M. Gale, C.E., Glasgow, and the Edinburgh Section of Sanitary Engineering. and District Waterworks, by Mr. Alexander Leslie, C.E., This section was devoted to drainage, sewage and refuse Edinburgh. Cremation.


of Public Health to take such action

as

may be considered desirable."

Professor CRUM BROWN submitted the following regarding ’the registration of plumbers :" That this meeting of representatives of the British Institute of ’Public Health, of delegates from county councils, municipal corpora tions and sanitary authorities of Great Britain and Ireland, in congress assembled, is desirous of recording its opinion that the education, examination and registration of plumbers is essential to the protection ,and preservation of the health of the community and as a matter of national importance should be promoted in all districts ; that a statement embodying this opinion should be presented as a memorial to Parliament, coupled with an expression of the further opinion of the ’Conference that the Plumbers’ Registration Bill now before Parliament should be passed into law at the earliest opportunity in the interest of ,-:,hf public health." Both motions were carried unanimously. lTr. HART then read an address on Cholera Nurseries and their Suppression.

MONDAY, At this

Fraser,

Section,

JULY 31ST.

Preventive lledac>ze. which was presided

over

by

Professor

Dr. CARTWRIGHT WOOD (London) read a paper Filtration of Water-supplies and Sewage Contamination.

on

CHOLERA. CURRENT NOTES, COMMENTS AND CRITICISM. IN connexion with our weekly chronicle of the progress of cholera it seems to be pertinent to call attention to the experience of the Russian Army Medical Department as to the value of the measures adopted to meet an epidemic of that disease. In THE LANCET of last week we noticed the official report upon the cholera epidemic in the Russian army, and we may briefly recapitulate the conclusions at which the medical officers of that army have arrived, not only because they have practically had the most recent experience of the disease, but because the results of that experience, which in the main fully ratify the viewswhich wehave put forward, cannot, in our opinion, be too well known. They have found that quarantine is quite useless in checking the spread of cholera, and that ° inspection points " on lines of communication, although very useful in providing early aid for persons