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RE: crematoria and medical waste



Follow up to my previous message: I spoke to Rick Copeland at EPA who headed
up the effort on the medical waste incineration standards for air, regarding
medical waste incinerators(MWI) and he indicated that the issues are not
transferrable to crematoria. In fact, crematoria are specifically exempt
from the MWI standards. MWI burn a lot of plastics and contaminated supplies
which contribute substantial chlorine to the formation of HCl and possibly
dioxins and heavy metals. These constituents pose the greater air risk.
Tissue matter which is 96% water does not pose these kinds of problems. The
EPA air program is looking into crematoria as part of other waste disposal
such as combustion of chicken carcasses. He expects mercury from fillings
being a problem unique to crematoria since it volatilizes at low combustion
temperatures and is not easily removed. Ironically the chlorine levels in
MWI result in the formation of HgCl2 which can be removed from the air more
easily but ends up in the water.

John Calcagni
Waste Reduction Resource Center
PO Box 29569
Raleigh NC 27626-9569
1-800-476-8686
calcagni.john@epamail.epa.gov

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	John Calcagni 
> Sent:	Tuesday, December 29, 1998 11:16 AM
> To:	'John Marlin'
> Cc:	'p2tech@great-lakes.net'
> Subject:	RE: crematoria
> 
> I would expect some of the same issues associated with medical waste
> incineration. EPA has published air standards for medical waste
> incineration. The background documents for this standard are at
> http://www.epa.gov/ttn/uatw/129/hmiwi/rihmiwi.html.  EPA also included
> crematoria in their Mercury point source inventory in their report to
> Congress. There may be some unique mercury related issues.Also we have a
> number of articles related to medical waste at our Website
> http://wrrc.p2pays.org. Go to search databases and then to RLIBY.  We can
> send you any articles you find relevant.
> 
> John Calcagni
> Waste Reduction Resource Center
> PO Box 29569
> Raleigh NC 27626-9569
> 1-800-476-8686
> calcagni.john@epamail.epa.gov
> 
> 	-----Original Message-----
> 	From:	John Marlin [SMTP:jmarlin@wmrc.hazard.uiuc.edu]
> 	Sent:	Tuesday, December 29, 1998 9:52 AM
> 	To:	p2tech@great-lakes.net
> 	Subject:	crematoria
> 
> 
> 	We have received an inquiry about any possible environmental  and
> health
> 	concerns that might be associated with locating a crematororium near
> a
> 	residential neighborhood.   Does anyone have a source of information
> on
> 	this topic?? 
> 	thanks
> 
> 	John Marlin