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Crematory Contraversy

      
Christine.Hentges's picture
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All of us in this industry are on top of the cremation trend.  The general public pretends to be on top of this trend, but they are grossly ignorant (to no fault of their own) as to what cremation really means. I see a strong connection to the increase in cremation to being able to put off, ignore or prolong the process of death; this is unhealthy on so many different levels and I wish we could all do a better job of letting the public know this.

Currently, I'm working diligently to propose the construction of a beautiful, yet modest chapel on a small cemetery which our company owns in what is referred to as the "Lake Country area" of Wisconsin.  It's not exactly a rural community in comparison to what rural really means, but it is a smaller community which houses several prestigious lakes.  Included with this chapel is a crematory.   Because of this, the community is outraged.  I'm being threatened, am being called immoral and our company is being referred to as unethical and lacking values - all from people who do not know us personally or likely haven't been involved with actually having to make funeral arrangements for anyone closes to them.  Ouch!  To not take this personally is very difficult. 

I'm not ignorant to our society's general fear of death.  But, within the last 45 days, my eyes have been opened up and I have an entirely different perspective on the general stigma that death creates.  Although this crematory proposal is to be within a cemetery, which has been part of the community since 1847, I'm in awe of the different perception this community has of what we have been doing as a cemetery operation vs. what we are proposing to do as a cemetery operation which now offers cremation services.  My jaw has literally dropped when people try to communicate to me what they think is going to happen if a crematory operation is in their community:  the lakes in the area are now going to be polluted and contaminated; their children are going to get mercury poisoning, the soot created from the cremation process is going to leave a path whichever the way the wind is blowing that day.  I haven't had the courage to ask them about the cremated remains that they scattered over these same lakes because it was "mom's wishes" to do so. Why is this acceptable for them to scatter the cremated remains over the lakes, but they want nothing to do with really understanding how a human body was altered into that form. 

Last night I was watching "Taboo" on the National Geographic channel.  The topic was exactly what I'm referring to here:  The stigma of death.  It was a fascinating episode which I just happened to stumble upon.  It discussed and showed the Hindu vs. American culture's funeral practices along with other topics relating to death.  It reminded me of my hope for our society:  to be more accepting of death, of the conversation revolving around it and the healing process that a funeral, life celebration or some sort of ceremony brings to those left behind.  Ignoring the fact of life - death - is becoming more of the norm.  All of us in the funeral industry need to continue to help families through education and the encouragement of preplanning.   This creates a conversation which likely would not have been had if we didn't individually take the time to provoke a few questions to them. 

It is my hope that the hearing that we are holding on May 5th doesn't get too ugly.  I hope that my passion for showing people how we can help them in the long run by providing quality, personalized services, which now includes cremation, is strong enough to overpower the threats, irrational thoughts and hundreds of people who will be there to oppose the crematory. For what is a natural way to do business for us is causing normally educated and reasonable people to come across as the exact opposite.

good luck

Wow, Christie, interesting story! Joe and I are out of the office this week at the Ohio FDA Convention, but give Bob a call ... he may have some materials, facts and figures that could help you in your efforts to dispel some of the myths, particularly those re: the environmental issues you mentioned. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Cremation Conflict

As a California Funeral Director here having had All Faiths Mortuary And Crematory Svs. FD-1733. I can tell you that what we got a lot of is: What's The Price Of Your Cheapest Cremation and How Soon Can I Have A Death Certificate?" Greed, Vanity and Possessions. But I will tell you that those that claim the the Greatest Religiosity are most fearful of Death and Dying. They are hypocrites, professing all these wonderful religious espousal and being the most fearful of the "End of Life Issues."

I think you live in a backwards thinking town. They want disposal but don't want to know or what would the neighbors think. A not in my backyard mentality. Your town suffers from what I call the "Old Lady Syndrome," they create more trouble in communities and churches than anyone. You have not been subject to the consolidators and their pricing. Once your community has been outstripped of their ability to pay for funerals then your cremation will go up dramatically. People won't care how you reduce Mom to sand.

I would approach the subject with the clergy there. Tie cremation to being acceptable with a bibliographically view. I have sent full body shipments back to Wisconsin so I have some experience with the mentality. Families, do not want to see bodies, or have services maybe a rental casket from time to time. Your free to call me anytime at 619-990-9787. E-mail; undertakerhobbs@gmail.com

Last Night's meeting

Christine - I attended the meeting last night in Stone Bank. I also side with everyone else in the room (with the exception of your staff) that I don't want this in my community. I must admit going into the meeting I thought having this might provide some additional support to our local restaurants and establishments we all frequent. . . you failed to recognize these being a vital part of our community.

Being a businessperson myself, I would look at last night's meeting as an embarrassment if I were in your shoes. You failed to provide accurate and up to date facts around the mercury being released into the atmosphere (1995 info), never gave any solid reason why this would be a benefit to our community, and relied too heavily on your own personal conclusions stating this "shouldn't create any additional traffic to the area." With all due respect, I think you are extremely naive with this last statement. If I were opening a service business relying on people coming through my door, I would hope this created more traffic. With this, how are the bodies supposed to get to your facility without additional traffic through expansion of your services? Seems irrational to me!? Several questions came to my mind during this meeting:
1. Why would anyone support this? You are not paying taxes to support our community, you are not creating any jobs, you are an unregulated business, and your business plan is sketchy at best. The perceived benefit of having a nice looking building with landscaping is not a selling point . . .someone could do this by simply building a house in all honesty.
2. Why Stone Bank? Hwy 100 and Capitol is a larger community, better access, and more land upon which you can build your crematory. Something is not adding up here.
3. I thought in talking with people you had to register for a license with the State as to the number of cremations you were going to perform. I can't imagine that State wouldn't have some restrictions here. If that is the case, how many are you applying a license for? Again, your business plan doesn't support the 50-100 you claim.
4. I hope you don't get your chapel in the end either. I see this as your back door posturing to future expansion of a crematory.
5. Shame on you for trying to hire a reputable lawyer to find loopholes and bully a small community board toward expanding your business. Realistically speaking, if you did get the crematory, I would be surprised if you had 50-100 cremations a year with all the protesting that would be done by the local community. No one, in my mind, would ever bring a passed love one to a controversial area of unrest. However, in your tunnel vision, you probably never thought of this.

It's not about the fear of death, Benjamin Franklin taught us all that death and taxes are the only absolutes. Your smug look and snickering at people's comments last night created an even stronger dividing line between Tribute Company and the community. You pretend to be an educated, soft spoken, savvy businesswoman but were trumped by a community who presented better facts and displayed more passion for this community than you could ever pretend to.

In the end, you tried to pull the wool over a Board and Community's eyes with your presentation; hopefully in the end you didn't succeed with either. Thanks but no thanks for your "teaching moment."

Best of luck with your future endeavors outside of Stone Bank, not in my community!

Crematorium Meeting - Town of Merton- Stone Bank

Hi Christine,

God Bless the anonymous contributor. Sorry for being condescending but you should be ashamed of yourself for what you did last night. If this was your "sell" to the community, it failed miserably. I felt bad for your family/friends and even yourself. You came across as arrogant, self-centered, uncaring, and, egotistical. I don't know you so don't worry about my opinion. However, I saw the disappointment in those that surrounded you after the meeting.

Why snicker and roll your eyes when a neighbor to the property is presenting his side of the argument and backing up statements with printed data, which were given to the town board and your lawyer? Why did you feel the need to get, arguably, the most prestigious law firm in the state? There are local attorneys right down the street from your current office in Hartland. If your proposal was above board and a benefit to the community, there would have been no reason to move the meeting to the North Lake School so hundreds of people could attend.

Please understand, I am only giving you feedback, just as I would expect from you. Christine, this is not personal, really. Think about the meeting for a second. Think about the quality, knowledge, and professionalism of the speakers. This was not an angry mob out to fight progress and technology. These were people that are passionate about their community, took time to research and learn about the topic, and at the end of the day, when you go home to Delafield, would remain in Stone Bank, next to your factory.

There was a funeral director, a professor from your alma madder, Marquette University, degreed environmentalists, doctors, and just regular folks, all of whom love their home town and don't want the manufacturing facility in the center of the community.

Christine, even the letter from the Watertown operation was not factual. How do I know? What happens when they start it (crematorium) up, I asked? "It smells like burning hair". Nice job.

Please, go away. If you don't want to keep up the cemetery grounds just let us know. We'll be glad to help out and take care of our own.

Crematory

I am not familiar with the plans for the Stone Bank crematory, and so I cannot respond directly to many of the comments above. However, I did want to offer my thoughts on two topics.

First, Christie has worked in a volunteer capacity with the ICCFA for many years, and in that time, I have always found her to be extremely professional, caring and very giving with her time. She headed up one of our scholarship programs for nearly a decade. It was a tough job involving fund raising for a good cause--something I would not have cared to do, yet Christie did it without complaint and always behind the scenes. Perhaps those who have commented so harshly but who do not know Christie would do well to get to know her and her activities. I think they will find she is indeed a thoughtful, caring person with a genuine passion for this profession.

Second, the reference to the crematory as a "factory" is confusing to me. I am not certain what the plans for this crematory are, but if it were to be placed on the cemetery grounds, I have to believe it would be done in an extremely attractive and unobtrusive way. I have seen numerous crematories and would not describe any of them as being at all factory-like. Here is just one example I found at the top of a Google image search: http://www.fmpark.org/cremation.html ... it is typical of those I have seen.

Linda Budzinski
ICCFA Director of Communications and Membership Services

When A Community Says No - Listen!

Miss Budzinski - you're right, you are not familiar with the situation. You know the wonderful thing about goggle earth? We can go to the link you give as attractive and unobtrusive and look at it. Looks like Franklin Memorial Park - a 60 acre piece of property surrounded by trees. What's that in the middle? Is that the crematory(also surrounded by trees)? I guess the trees make it unobtrusive. And look - its 500-600 feet from any residence. Linda - Stone Bank Cemetery is 11 acres - that means you can stand anywhere in it and see the whole thing. Most of the cemetery sits within the 1000' boundary of shoreland protection under the control of the County. It is surrounded by lakes, wetlands and ponds. Only one part is left to put a building on and conveniently it's outside that pesky 1000' shoreland protection so they just have to deal with a local town board. It's also about 50-75' from a family with five children and a mother pregnant with another child. Now, it's real obvious people in your industry don't want to read anything that might indicate to you that mercury vapor emissions are a much bigger problem than you want to admit. And Christine calls us "grossly ignorant". Christine - at your Tribute Company website, you list a B.A. in Psychology. What did you learn in that class? The statements you made in your 4/25 comment are astounding. Most people, my dear, by the time they are twenty have had experience with the death of someone close. I had that experience when I was ten years old. Contrary to your perceptions, most people know how to deal with death. The only ugly thing about the May 5 public hearing is that after 250 showed up to oppose it, calmly and intelligently got up and expressed why they were against it, that you did not have the good sense or integrity to withdraw your request.

By the way Christine, on your subject line from 4/25, controversy is spelled with an "o".

Christine.Hentges's picture

Let's stick to the facts please

It is clear to me that the easy way to respond to our proposal is through personal attacks and insults to my intelligence. I choose to take no part in replying to these disrespectful comments.

Here is a link for some interesting reading. It takes into account both sides of the story in a similar, recent proposal in Grinnell, Iowa. Please read it... http://sites.google.com/site/grinnellcremationresearch/

Fact: The Stone Bank community does not want your business here.

Dear Christine,

Why continue to push the issue? The residents have spoken. We don't want it.
Facts:
1. No benefit for the community.
2. This is a tax exempt operation.
3. You will not be hiring any employees.
4. Per your statements, only a maximum of 9 people from the community would be cremated annually.
5. The Power-Pak II can complete one cremation cycle in two hours or less.
6. Why perform 120 cremations per year, as you stated, and run this piece of equipment less than 3% of capacity?
7. Nothing is stopping you from doing thousands of cremations per year, in this, the smallest cemetery the Tribute Company owns.
8. The residents of this community will continue to vehemently appose this plan.
9. By your own decision, you have chosen to "Rally" members of the Presbyterian church to support this plan. Why play neighbors against neighbor?
10. You stated at the public hearing the Tribute Company has other land and would move the crematorium to that location as your business expands. Why not build it there right away?

Christine, please rethink this plan with an open mind. I did.

Would you really want this building 150' from your house in Delafield? This is a small little country cemetery, surrounded by nature and residents. Wouldn't you be doing the community and the Tribute Company a great service by locating your crematorium in an industrial area. Wouldn't you like the same community that is opposing this project to embrace your company for making the "Responsible" decision to locate the crematorium away from our homes?

If you follow the example of the funeral home in Brookfield, WI, and locate the crematorium elsewhere, because the neighbors are uncomfortable with it, you would be cheered by the residents. I for one would endorse your company and cheer your presence at the Stone Bank 4th of July parade as you are waving to the crowd from your float.

Please, just think about it from our point of view. Thank you Christine.

Crematories in communities

Again, I would like to respond to some of the comments above. Before I do so, let me preface my own comment by saying that I realize it is not my place to promote the placement of this crematory in the Stone Bank community. I happen to personally like Christie and hold her family and their company in very high regard, so I would be pleased for them if they were to be able to proceed as they wished in this matter. However, I recognize that it is not my call ... this is your community, not mine. My husband and I are quite active in the civic and political environment of our own community here in Northern Virginia, and so I appreciate the passion you folks feel for the issue and would not presume to tell you what you should or should not do.

However, some comments have been made that, having been posted on the Internet for the world to see, I would like to address as I am sure your community, as well as others out there that may be dealing with similar proposals, want to hear from both sides of the issue and not simply from those who have expressed their opinions anonymously above.

First, regarding the suggestion that a crematory should be placed in an industrial area or in a place with a large "buffer zone," for lack of a better term, I respectfully disagree. There are many crematories placed in population centers with no reports of ill effects. In fact, the closest crematory to my home is in the next town over, on the premises of that town's only funeral home. The funeral home is located in the historic district of the town, on the main street of that historic district, surrounded by homes and businesses. Does that mean this is right for every community? No, but that funeral home is a welcome and responsible neighbor within our community.

Many funeral homes and cemeteries welcome families who wish to view the placement of the body into the crematory (this is particularly prevalent in certain religious traditions). It would not be ideal to ask the family to go to an industrial area for this; it is more respectful of their needs to do this at the funeral home or cemetery, in an attractive and peaceful setting.

Second, regarding the insinuation that this profession is somehow callous and unconcerned about those it serves and the environment, I can only say that that has not been my experience. I came to this association 16 years ago after answering a blind ad for a communications professional. I have to admit, I was a little taken aback when I learned the name of the association! But I accepted a position and have never looked back. Our members are the most kind, caring and well-grounded people I've ever known.

Think about it. In your job, you probably occasionally deal with people who are having a bad day. It's very stressful, isn't it? Well, these folks deal with people who are having a bad day all day, every day. And not just a "bad day," but likely one of the worst days of their lives. Funeral directors and cemeterians get up every day and do what they do in the hopes of helping people through their loss. In my experience, they consider the care of the dead a calling and they take the care of the survivors very, very seriously as well. Are there bad apples? Yes. You can read about them in the papers. I am describing the other 99.9%.

I also have found this profession to be very conscientious regarding the environment. The suppliers, including the crematory suppliers, are always looking for ways to make their products better, more efficient and, yes, more environmentally friendly. It is the way of our society and so of course it is the way of these businesses. It wouldn't make sense for them to operate any other way. The trend toward cremation is being driven by consumers, not by this profession; they are simply answering that demand in the best way they can, and they are continually looking for ways to do it better.

Finally, a word about the administration of this blog. Not every trade association allows public comment on their blog and many of those that do closely monitor the comments and delete any that could be perceived as negative. Our bias at ICCFA is to allow all comments except for obvious spam, irresponsible language, etc. We want to encourage dialogue so we can all learn from each other. That said, some of the comments here have bordered on personal attacks, and the fact that they have been made by people who are not willing to stand behind them by signing their names bothers me. I asked Christie for her input on this and she responded that she did not advocate censoring the comments as that is what a blog is for. Still, I will be keeping an eye on this thread and will pull any comments that I feel cross the line (especially ones that are made anonymously).

Linda Budzinski
ICCFA Director of Communications and Membership Services

Reply to Christine's "Let's Stick To The Facts Please"

WOW! This is exactly what everyone has been trying to get you to do - stick to the facts. No one is insulting your intelligence, just trying to get you to widen your myopic view. The Grinnell study has been introduced by several people in the opposition. DID YOU READ THE CONCLUSIONS??? Here they are:

1.Various independent research studies, including those done by CANA, concur that mercury is emitted during the cremation process.
2.According to the EPA and the U.S.Depart. of Health & Human Services, mercury emissions are unsafe and can cause a number of significant, permanent health problems.
3.Crematoria are known to emit mercury and dioxins which are unsafe and therefore should not be placed near residential areas without monitored filtering processes.
4.Smith Funeral Home can take pride in having been a responsible and considerate neighborhood resident since 1931. We are confident that Smith will continue this tradition by acting responsibly in connection with this extremely serious issue.

It then goes on listing experts saying crematoria should not be placed around neighborhoods. And even though mercury is the largest target, there are lots of other nasty things coming out of the smokestack with it. And if you want this so much, then why don't you agree to put filters on it? That would solve the problem. But of course, the whole purpose of this is to make money and that would cut into that wouldn't it?

Geez Christine! Think about what you are trying to force on this community. We love our community, we don't want this here. What do you think would happen if you tried to put a crematory in your neighborhood? Really - do you think your neighbors would go along with it? I don't think so and you know that's the truth. If you have really tried to research this, would you feel good enough about it to have it right next to your house? I mean this Christine - would you feel Ok with it?

We love our community.

Of course, if filters wer

Reply to Crematories in Communities

If you cared about the environment, you would put filters on the smokestacks. That is what Europe is legislating, laws now require crematoria to install filters. Why? Because with the huge increase in people opting for cremations (because they are cheaper) their mercury emissions are reaching 16% from crematoria. As with so many things, if the real cost to people and the environment were taken into account, the true cost of cremations would be huge. Our community is not alone, many do not want a crematory. So, if you really wanted to be a responsible company, why wouldn't you put one where people either did not care or thought it was ok? Christine went to the Church that used to own the cemetery and asked people to write letters supporting her crematory - isn't there something a little bit distasteful about that?

And you should keep your comments open because it may give you a larger view on the subject.

Just the facts...

Christine;

I agree; let’s stick to the facts:

Fact #1: There will be mercury and dioxin emissions from the proposed crematory. This fact is supported by the very study and conclusions that you reference and asked us to read (Grinnell Cremation Research). I am concerned about this because my family and many others live in very close proximity to the proposed site. There is a marsh within 200 feet and two lakes within a mere 1000 feet of the site which are teaming with delicate animal life. You state that these emissions are so low as to be harmless; I say that ANY such emission that can be avoided in such a delicate area must be avoided.

Fact #2: Odors from the burning process will be emitted. This fact is substantiated by discussions with people in your industry who have confirmed it during the Merton meeting and other discussions and writings. According to a neighbor of Cremation Specialists in New Berlin, numerous complaints about the smell (smelled like bologna) have led to Cremation Specialists only burning during the morning hours.

Fact #3: There is a young family with 5 children and another on the way less than 100 feet from the proposed site. What will be the psychological impact on these children of witnessing almost daily funerals and/or delivery of bodies for cremation? What will be the long-term physical impact on those children from the emissions? Would you be willing to expose your children to that very real and proven risk? Of course not, so why would you subject others’ children to this?

Fact #4: The proposed crematory will not contribute to the Merton tax base. There is no financial benefit to the town of Merton residents in having this facility within our jurisdiction.

Fact #5: There will be increased traffic in this quiet neighborhood during funeral and cremation services. This will add cost to the town (police, road maintenance, etc.) with no reimbursement from The Tribute Company/Stone Bank Gardens.

Fact #6: The proposed chapel and reception facilities will take business away from local establishments which now support those needs. There are several restaurants in the area that can and do cater to the needs of the families (lunch, etc.).

Fact #7: All of the conclusions in the link that you suggested we read are against building crematories within close proximity to residential and environmentally fragile areas. I am amazed that there is not even one factually accurate link/report that could be referenced that supports your claims as to the benign nature of building crematories within residential areas. You have proven the case against the proposal.

Please feel free to respond with documented and current information (facts) that dispute anything stated above.

In light of these facts, any reasonable, thoughtful and caring steward of the community would certainly withdraw plans for such a contentious and environmentally dangerous facility to be built in this location. Please do the right thing.

Thank you.

Dave

Christine.Hentges's picture

I am listening

Dave: I'm sure you realize that we can continue going around and around on this subject until the end of time. Before I address your questions, it needs to be made clear that I am listening, I do not have a myopic point of view and in no way did I ever fathom that the community would react the way they have to this proposal. From my perspective, the approach to collective education on cremation and open communication before the public hearing would have been beneficial for all of us in order to have reasonable hearing. But nobody was willing to talk to me before the hearing and by the time the hearing date arrived, the willingness to listen was beyond the point of return. I assure you there are people in favor of this, but opposition has a much louder voice than support with these types of issues.

The lack of research is really at the heart of both of our perspectives. Yes, there are a few out there - very few - but when you do read them, they are all inconclusive. The Grinnell study did draw some conclusions, but when the statistics are thoroughly read, this, too, is inconclusive.

If, at any point in time, I felt like our proposal would cause harm to your children, the community, to the lakes, etc., this idea would have never surfaced. I'm a part of this community, too and am a concerned, environmentally conscious citizen. I use all of the lakes in the area, drive and ride my bike on the same roads, watch countless baseball games at the area fields and do what I can to help the community continue to thrive and be a fantastic place to raise a family. And by the way, my family and I think the Stone Bank parade is one of the highlights of every summer.

Yes, cemeteries are tax exempt. If they were not, they would be especially difficult to continue operating since many of them simply do not earn enough revenue to meet the overhead expenses involved with maintaining the property. If cemeteries were taxed, the burden of the expenses would rapidly create more abandoned cemeteries throughout the area. You may be aware that there are already a few abandoned cemeteries around. Not only would these properties become an eyesore for the community, but after 5 years of abandonment, the municipalities they are within become fully responsible for their maintenance. Where would the money for this maintenance be generated from? More taxes! I'm sure you're in agreement that we do not need to be taxed any further. Our company, our employees and I pay plenty of taxes in nearby towns and villages.

Regarding the comments about the smells from local crematory operators, it needs to be clearly understood that we would be creating competition for these facilities who are vocalizing these statements. Unfortunately, the potential for competition creates this type of behavior and these types of claims in any business.

Under no circumstance do I want to get into the catering business. Nobody would want me to cook - just ask my husband and kids. Local businesses would actually be ideal partners for the use of this facility for the purposes of memorial, committal and funeral services. As mentioned in the hearing, the small kitchen would only have a refrigerator and sink in order to help facility the comfort of food in this type of setting.

Traffic would be minimal and kept within the cemetery, just as we do right now for committal services which we hold there now. The volume that is being projected by you and others wouldn't happen. The cemetery and funeral business simply does not multiply its volume in a short amount of time merely because a building has been constructed. The "build it and they will come" philosophy has never proven to work for us.

I am listening. A requirement of time is necessary so that the right decision is made; either by us or by the Town of Merton. Thank you for keeping the comments more reasonable in the recent posts.

Response to "I am listening"

Christine;

Just a few thoughts on your response:

If the research is inconclusive as you state, wouldn’t it be prudent to wait until there is conclusive and current research that supports your position? The data you quoted during the hearing was very outdated. I understand that you (and your competitors) are eager to establish crematories before any new regulations are put in place so that your facilities can be grandfathered to abide by the old rules. But the fact is there ARE emissions from crematories. I can never agree that putting a source of toxins, regardless of the amount, in a residential and environmentally sensitive area should ever be accepted.

You say that you are a member of this community, but you really aren’t. From what I understand you live in Delafield. The impact of the emissions, whether it is mercury, dioxin or objectionable odors, will not reach you or your water supply or the air that your family breathes on a regular basis. We live here every day. We will be exposed to this every day if you build this facility.

Regarding the tax exempt status of cemeteries, I have no problem with that. But I do have a problem with locating a profit generating business on tax exempt land primarily because that land is tax free. You mention abandoned cemeteries; the number of abandoned cemeteries is significantly outnumbered by active cemeteries that do not have an on-site crematory.

The information we have gathered regarding the smell did not come from your competitors, but rather from people who live and work close to crematories. They had no reason to lie to us; they simply related their experience. I fear that this will also be our experience if you go forward with your plans.

Dave

Congratulation to the Community

I want to congratulate the community on stopping this. Seems the community is already educated on the subject. The true education must be directed towards the Cremation Industry (the operators and the providers of equipment).

Mercury is just a part of the problem, lead (Pb), cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals are present in the soot emmited by cremation. There is a lot of complaints about crematories being raised in neighborhoods due to stench and smoke. I have one 40' away. Stinks particularly at cooldown (shutdown) I have been burned by the exhaust or rather the chemicals that come from it on the inside of the mouth and eyes sensitive parts of the body. at time its so bad you break out into caugh.

Had DNR here to address it. He smelled it at shut down just like I told him. I spoke with him for 51 min and recorded it. In the course of the conversation, I have realized that this individual, although in charge of air quality in the area, had no clue about crematories. Most of my questions were answered with "I don't know" and "I don't regulate them" be that a lesson to you. However, he did make the following statement "I wouldn't want it by my house." This same individual claims to have spoken about crematories in 3 other towns. I wonder if he started with "I wouldn't want it by my house."

Recently, I read a DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) statement where they also seem to not know much but the one statement that stuck with me is regarding PM 2.5 microns. According to them the equipment that they are using for stack tests does not detect it. That simply means that that is unaccounted pollution. Which means that pollution from crematories is much higher than what it is reported. Perhaps why such a huge gap in TEQ factors from tests in Europe and Asia compared to US. Furthermore, there is no stack test at shutdown. What this means is simply that uncontrollable ammounts of pullution escape when afterburner shuts down and the very loud fan just basically blows everything that is still present right out of the stack and into your house in this case mine.

But the kicker is the operator of the crematory next door leaves for his home before the cremator shuts down and leaves the neighborhood stinking but there is none to complain to. And finally, the cremator is still emmiting gasses for about day and a half after shutdown. With good wind you can smell it even though it's not running.

So I say KUDOS to your community for getting organized and educated.

Mark

in "snowmobile capitol of the world" soon to be "stinkiest capitol of the world"

Thank You for Listening

Christine;

Thank you for listening to the community surrounding the Gardens of Stone Bank and withdrawing your application. It was the right decision.

Dave

The End

I appreciate your acknowledgement.

Christine.Hentges's picture

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Sorry for the anonymous comment; that last post was from me, but I was not logged in.

Last Night's Meeting - follow up

Christine - I posted the original "Last Night's meeting" in this blog. I feel that if people take the time to write about their displeasure, they should extend the courtesy of taking the time to thank you as well. Obviously you were listening in the decision to withdraw your petition and for that we as the community of Stone Bank are extremely grateful.

Best of luck in your future endeavors. I guess on behalf of the people who don't take the time to follow up, all the residents of Stone Bank sincerely thank you.

Anonymous aka Mark

Cremation and mercury

Christine ~

I enjoyed your comments, but you are ignoring reality and calling others ignorant, while you yourself are not facing the facts.

The fact is that many people have mercury fillings when they die and the mercury is all emitted to the atmosphere during cremation. None of it remains in the ash.

Mercury is a very toxic material, and the emissions from crematoria will go into the local lakes, the local soil and travel the world around.

It is unbelievable to me how the cremation industry in the US ignores these facts, when the cremation industry in Europe not only understands the issue, but has taken steps to protect the health of the living and future generations as it performs the valuable service of cremation.

Crematory

I live in a small town in NH. Meredith NH 03253 and the Mayhew Funeral Home across the street from me has installed a crematory 210 feet across the street from my home. The man who owns the Crematory Peter mayhew, never gave me any warning about this and neither did he to any of my neighbors. I just woke up one morning to find a large crane installing a large metal smoke stack on top of his building. I am angry, this is my home and I feel that t his is an invasion of my right to a clean and safe enviroment, plus the damm thing is going to depreciate the value of my home and make it harder for me to sell when I want to. Right now I feel like I am at war with him. I am praying that the thing will over heat and cause a fire with the pine tree right next to his building and then maybe burn over and burn down a huge barn which is very close to his crematory. That would really be a hot time in the old town tonight. I do not have any good thoughts or wishes for him. He is a evil man. Gladys

Christine.Hentges's picture

Jumping to conclusions

Gladys; you're entitled to your feelings, but I encourage you to step back and read your comments again in a few weeks. I don't know who Mr. Mayhem is, but likely he is far from being an evil man. He's providing a necessary service to your community that you don't like to see being offered. Wishing misfortune and harm to others is certainly closer to defining evil than an entrepreneur is.
It's very unlikely that your property value will be affected one way or the other.
If you were not aware of this development taking place, either your community simply holds no restrictions against this type of facility and you weren't required to be notified, or you simply were not aware of the politics that took place behind the scenes.
I'm confident that you will find that this business will not be a nuisance whatsoever to you.

Love your courage!

Thank you so very much for shedding some light on this. My wife was cremated in 1997 and last year I founded the nation's first-of-it's-kind 501 c3 non-profit implant recycling program, Alternative Solutions USA, in her honor to encourage crematories across the nation to recycle orthopedic and dental implants recovered after the cremation process and forward funds generated from recycling to charity.

Crematories that joined our non-profit recycling program to date, has helped generate over $40,000 for charitable organizations during these times of extreme economic hardship across our beloved country. Also, these crematories are further helping in protecting our environment and preserving our non-renewable natural resources.

The general public and the death care industry must always come together to resolve any challenge that presents itself.

Ray Saadeh
Founder
Alternative Solutions USA
www.alternativesolutionsusa.org