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Please Remove Your Fillings Prior to Death. Thanks.
There are a bunch of people in Colorado who are upset that a funeral home owner wants to put a crematorium in their 'hood, and they hit upon the perfect argument against the infiltration of a creepy body-burning enterprise into their suburban enclave: mercury emissions !
Most people have some sort of fillings, and many fillings are/were made with an amalgam that includes mercury. When you cremate a body with amalgam fillings, the mercury is released into the air and eventually comes back down as rain or snow and pollutes crap. Of course, most of the mercury released into the air comes from, like, coal-fired power plants and not crematories (the EPA estimates that less than 1 percent of U.S. mercury emissions comes from crematoriums).
But, hey, everyone knows we like electricity more and most funeral home/crematory owners are really small business people compared to, say, power companies. And so a bunch of states have tried to pass laws to force crematories to install mercury filters like power plants have (cost: $500,000/filter) or remove the fillings/teeth before setting the corpses on fire, which is TOTALLY not what the Nazis used to do or anything and extra-special not creepy to boot.
So the guy in Colorado was told by his local government to either install a $500,000 filter on his smoke stack or tell grieving people that in order to cremate their relatives he has to remove their motherfucking teeth before the service. Great government, great choices. How's that Clean Skies Initiative going, GWB?
Cremation a hazard to the living? [LA Times]