The MEM Seminar Series 2001/2002



“Investigating environmental health concerns of residents living near a pulp and paper mill”



Prof David Koh

Professor and Head, Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine,

Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore

Visiting Consultant, National Skin Centre,Singapore







Saturday , 09 February 2002

10:00 am - 12 noon

Masters Resource Centre Room 2  (SDE2 Level 3)





All are Welcome


For more information, please call Jennifer @ 874-3563 or e-mail




Residents living downstream of a pulp and paper mill complained of skin rashes, which was believed to be due to polluted water and dioxin contamination from discharges from the mill. This seminar will describe a multidisciplinary and community based approach in the investigation of the environmental health concerns of the villagers.


The investigation involved representatives from a local non-governmental organization, environmental and health staff of the mill, academics from the fisheries department of the local university, and external consultants from the Finnish Environmental Research Group and the National University of Singapore.  Aquatic environmental impact assessment, river ecology studies, water quality measurements and a health survey of villagers were conducted. The results were subsequently communicated to the community.



About   the  speaker

David Koh is Professor and Head of the Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine; and Deputy Director of the Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Research, National University of Singapore (NUS). Prior to joining the NUS, he was the Assistant Director in the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the then National Productivity Board, and Medical Director in a multinational insurance company. Dr Koh serves on the advisory boards of several international occupational and environmental health journals, and has undertaken international consulting work with several large organizations and multinational companies. Within Singapore, he is Chairman of the Ministry of Health Specialist Training Committee (Occupational Medicine), Visiting Consultant at the National Skin Centre, a Visitor’s Board member at the Institute of Mental Health. He serves on various advisory committees and panels in the Ministry of Health, Singapore Police Force, Singapore International Foundation, National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore Society of Occupational Health Nurses. He is currently President of the Occupational and Environmental Health Society.