"The aluminium got into the household water supply in 1988. Since then, several deaths and illnesses have been linked to aluminium. Dead villagers have been found to have had high levels in their brain.
So did politics play a part? In 1988, the privatisation of the water industry was looming and Camelford was a major embarrassment. Dwelling on the issue could have caused jitters in the City about the flotation. Eventually, South West Water was sold off for £300 million.
In 2001, the then Environment Minister Michael Meacher spoke more frankly than anyone until that point. He claimed the government of the time was fearful of an unrestricted public inquiry which was why, instead, an eight-strong team was appointed by the Department of Health to investigate the poisoning."
In 1995 psychiatrists attributed Camelford people's illnesses to their belief and anxiety that they had been poisoned. "We suggest that the most likely explanation of the Camelford findings is that the perception of normal and benign somatic symptoms (physical or mental) by both subjects and health professionals was heightened and subsequently attributed to an external, physical cause, such as poisoning"