Did you know there is a proposal on the table to have a crematorium built in Conshohocken? Ciavarelli Funeral Home has a item on the Zoning Hearing Board’s agenda to have a crematorium built on the premises. Here is a interesting article from P-W Patch on the facility.
Personally, I’m am not informed enough on the positives and negative of a crematorium to provide an opinion, yet. But, here are the items I can think of right away that may be an issues that I able to find so far:
- Pollution: The amount of pollution generated by the crematoria’s incinerators is a real concern. Mercury from dental fillings in the average crematorium gives off an estimated 11 kg of mercury annually. The chemicals and plastics in artifical joints and implants, in the clothes burned, in the formaldehyde used in preserving the body, hydrogen chloride, carbon dioxide, all add to the pollution. The government, aware of the problem, has since 1990 been placing tighter and tighter regulations on crematoria emissions, which is pushing up the cost of cremation year by year.
- Coffins: All coffins are burned, though some now have ‘inner boxes’, the outer shell being removed to be resold by the funeral director. The coffins burning only adds to the pollution, from glues, metal hinges, metal and plastic decoration, and manmade fabric liners. There are some wonderful environmentally friendly coffins now on the market, made in willow wicker, bamboo, cardboard or even papier maché, but the majority of coffins sold are MDF, reconstituted wood bound together with plastic glues, veneered in wood and varnish. Some crematorium will not accept card, home-made coffins or shrouds, being awkward about the idea of anything other than the norm.
- Smell: It is possible that the smell of the burning bodies is present. I’m sure the funeral homes do everything they can to minimize this, but it is a possibility.