Summary of References on Mercury Emissions from Crematoria


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Summary of References on Mercury Emissions from Crematoria


January 12, 2015


Table of Contents


Introduction

1

Summary

2

Number of Cremations in Dane County, Wisconsin and the US

2

Cremation Rates in Europe

2

Mercury use in Dentistry

5

Mercury in Body Tissues, Bones

10

Longevity of Restorations

11

Mercury from Dental Restorations in Cremations

11

Air Emissions from Cremations

14

Mercury Emissions and Crematoria Workers

20

The Level of Mercury in the Air Surrounding Crematoria

21

Mercury in the Soil Surrounding Crematoria

24

Mercury Emissions and the Health Impacts in Neighboring Area

27

Mercury in Crematoria Ash

27

Mercury Deposits on Crematoria Chimneys

27

Regulation of Mercury Emissions from Crematoria

28

Control Technology for Mercury Emissions

31

Monitoring of Mercury Emissions from Crematoria

33

Alternative Technologies to Cremation

34

References

35


Introduction
In July 2000, the Dane County, WI Board of Supervisors banned the sale of fever and basal thermometers containing mercury. As a follow-up to that action, a survey was done of other issues related to mercury in products and it was learned that cremation was a little known, but potentially important source of mercury to the environment. Thus began a summary of information sources of mercury from cremation, which has been periodically updated since then.
It is not a goal of this compiler to determine the accuracy, precision or value of the information described in this paper. Data are from sources as diverse as peer-reviewed journals, newspaper articles, telephone conversations and email correspondence, and as such can range from the higher levels of scientific certainty to purely anecdotal information. There is no assumption by the compiler that all data are equally valuable. It is up to the reader to decide how useful the data are and what use can or cannot be made of the information provided. The reader will also note that there are many types of data that would be important that are lacking. Additional sources of information are always welcomed by the compiler.

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