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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Poisoned water inquest is delayed
Lowermoor treatment works, Camelford
A toxic chemical was tipped into the wrong tank at the Lowermoor works
An inquest into the death of a woman who had high levels of aluminium in her brain after a water poisoning incident in a Cornish town, has been delayed.

Carole Cross, 59, who died in February 2004, drank water while living in Camelford, which was contaminated with aluminium sulphate in 1988.

Scientists now want to carry out further research into the link between aluminium and brain diseases.

Water supplies to 20,000 people in and around Camelford were contaminated.

Speech difficulties

About 20 tonnes of aluminium sulphate was delivered into the wrong tank at the former South West Water Authority (SWWA) water treatment works at Lowermoor.

People across a large area of north Cornwall were exposed to levels of aluminium 500 to 3,000 times the acceptable limit defined by the European Union.

Camelford residents Douglas and Carole Cross moved to Dulverton, Somerset, two years after the incident.

Mrs Cross was referred to a neurologist in 2003 for repeated headaches, difficulties in finding words and doing simple sums, and hallucinations.

Alzheimer's disease

Her condition progressively worsened and she died in 2004, aged 59.

A post-mortem examination of her brain revealed a rare form of Alzheimer's disease. Very high levels of aluminium were also found in the affected areas of her brain tissue.

An independent inquiry report, published in January 2005, said it was unlikely that the chemicals involved in the incident would have caused any persistent or delayed health effects.

But it recommended further research, including a study into those who did and did not drink the water.

West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose said on Tuesday he had asked neuropathologist Margaret Esiri and Dr Christopher Exley to examine the link between aluminium and brain diseases, which could take four years.


SEE ALSO
Call to test poisoned water users
20 Apr 06 |  Cornwall
Water poisoning evidence is heard
20 Dec 05 |  Cornwall
Camelford husband meets experts
19 Dec 05 |  Cornwall
Questions over toxic water tests
15 Dec 05 |  Cornwall
Disease link to water poisoning
15 Dec 05 |  Cornwall

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