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Mercury Reduction From Crematoria Through Collaboration and the Development of Best Management Practices _____________________________ Mark McMillan PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Mercury Reduction From Crematoria Through Collaboration and the Development of Best Management Practices _____________________________ Mark McMillan Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Looking to the Heavens For Answers: Mercury Emissions From Crematoria

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Mercury Reduction From Crematoria Through Collaboration and the Development of Best Management Practices _____________________________ Mark McMillan

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Crematoria hg initiative

Mercury Reduction From

Crematoria Through Collaboration and the Development of Best Management Practices

_____________________________

Mark McMillan

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment


Crematoria hg initiative

Looking to the Heavens

For Answers:

Mercury Emissions

From Crematoria

_____________________________

Mark McMillan

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment


Crematoria hg initiative

Holistically Assessing Mercury Impacts

Public

Health Data

Historical

Mining

Releases

Water Quality

Monitoring

Env’l

Pollution

Permits

Fish

Consumption

Data

Air Quality

Monitoring

Computer

Modeling

Demographics

Data


Crematoria hg initiative

  • “Mercury-Free Colorado Campaign” Initiatives

  • Problem Characterization

  • Industry (Automotive Switch)

  • Dental

  • Consumer

  • Public Education and Outreach

  • Crematoria

Pollution Prevention

Champion Award

Environmental

Achievement

Award

2005


Crematoria hg initiative

Crematoria P2 Initiative

  • Dental Amalgam Known Mercury Source

  • Mercury Released When Fillings Are Volatilized

  • CO Inventory Identifies Crematoria as Significant Source

  • (largest source not addressed with rulemaking/P2)

  • At Least 100 Pounds Released Annually in Colorado

  • Prefer Pollution Prevention “Carrot” over

  • Regulatory “Stick”

  • Effort to Work with Representative Stakeholders to

  • Identify Best Management Practices


Crematoria hg initiative

Crematoria P2 Initiative – Cont.

  • CDPHE Approach Successful When Applied to Other Sectors

  • In Response to U.S. EPA Request to See if:

  • 1- Strategies Exist to Limit Mercury Emissions

  • 2- Results are Transferable

  • Funding for Initiative Came from U.S. EPA

  • – Used for Contractor Support

  • About a Six Month Stakeholder Process


Crematoria hg initiative

Crematoria Hg Initiative

Task 1:Form “steering committee” from industry stakeholders

Task 2:Review Hg emissions estimates

Task 3:Identify “BMPs” for Hg reduction

Task 4:Inform industry community

Task 5:Report

Task 6:Evaluate


Project steering committee

Project Steering Committee

  • Committee Members – Colorado Industry Leaders,

    Dentists, P2 Engineers, Hg Experts, etc.

  • Committee Member Responsibilities:

    • Represent industry “community”

    • Provide technical input and “reality checks”

    • Educate peers to Crematoria Initiative


Options

Options

  • No Action

  • Pollution Control

    • There is precedence for pollution control.

    • Other countries are imposing strict standards and the installation of control equipment on crematoria stacks

    • Equipment is very expensive ($175K to $700K+)

  • Pollution Prevention

    • Voluntary amalgam extraction prior to cremation

    • Became focus of stakeholder group


Goal balance

Goal: Balance

Funeral Professionals

Public

Environment


Crematoria hg initiative1

Crematoria Hg Initiative

Task 1:Form “steering committee” from industry stakeholders

Task 2:Review Hg emissions estimates

Task 3:Identify “BMPs” for Hg reduction

Task 4:Inform industry community

Task 5:Report

Task 6:Evaluate


Colorado crematoria mercury emissions estimate

Colorado Crematoria Mercury Emissions Estimate

Assumptions based on literature review and research

  • 0.5 g of Hg per filling

  • 8.62 fillings per adult over 60 years of age

  • 25 percent of population edentulous

  • ~15,000 cremations in Colorado (CANA, 2005)

    - Figure Increasing Annually

    48,685 grams or 107 pounds per year of

    mercury released from Colorado crematoria


Colorado crematoria mercury emissions estimate1

Colorado Crematoria Mercury Emissions Estimate

Assumptions based on literature review and research

  • 0.5 g of Hg per filling

  • 8.62 fillings per adult over 60 years of age

  • 25 percent of population edentulous

  • ~15,000 cremations in Colorado (CANA, 2005)

    - Figure Increasing Annually

    48,685 grams or 107 pounds per year of

    mercury released from Colorado crematoria

    ~ 6,500 pounds nationally vs. 240 currently reported


Crematoria hg initiative2

Crematoria Hg Initiative

Task 1:Form “steering committee” from industry stakeholders

Task 2:Review Hg emissions estimates

Task 3:Identify “BMPs” for Hg reduction

Task 4:Inform industry community

Task 5:Report

Task 6:Evaluate


Initial plan

Initial Plan

  • Test Voluntary Extraction & Collect Data

    • Number of teeth with amalgam fillings

    • Removal time

    • Removal challenges

  • Gauge public perspective

  • Create language for authorization upon voluntary agreement


For voluntary removal to work

For voluntary removal to work…

  • Families must voluntarily agree

    (organ donor concept)

  • Utmost respect for body must be maintained

  • Removal must be relatively easy

    • Technically

    • Short amount of time

  • Education long before and during process


Barriers

Barriers

  • Technical Issues

  • Professional/ Industry Concerns

  • Social and/or Ethical Challenges


Crematoria hg initiative

Barriers - Technical Issues

  • Methodology of Emission Estimates

  • - Sources of Data

  • - Assumptions

  • - Transparency

  • Control Technologies

    • - Costs

    • - Effectiveness of Control Technology

  • Tooth Removal

    • - Who?

    • - When? Pre-Embalming? Post?

    • - How? Training Needed? Tools Needed?

    • - Etc.


Crematoria hg initiative

Barriers – Professional/ Industry

  • Making Recommendations, Decisions Based on Estimates

  • Removal of Teeth Seen as Possible Degradation of Body

  • “Tooth Removal Seen As Contrary to Training”

  • (Pacemaker Removal – Certain Comfort Level Exists)

  • Interestingly, Amalgam Removal Appeared Straightforward

  • “Informed Speculation” – Never Able to Fully Test Ideas


Crematoria hg initiative

Barriers - Social Implications

  • Concern for Grieving Families in Making Decision to Remove

  • Concern for Public Perception of Industry

  • Generational Differences –

  • “Do What You Have To Do” versus “Excuse Me, Do What?”


Crematoria hg initiative

Outcomes of Initiative

  • Furthered the Understanding of the Issue

  • - “Create Solutions, Not Problems”

  • - Solid Peer to Peer Involvement, Education

  • Stakeholders Chose Not to Proceed with Voluntary Initiative,

    • Whether Amalgam Removal or Control Technologies

  • Stakeholders Recommended Formal Regulation of Industry

    • for Mercury Control


Crematoria hg initiative

Outcomes of Initiative – cont’d

  • REPORTS/PRODUCTS

  • Colorado Crematoria Mercury Report

  • Possible Trends in Crematoria Emissions Report

  • Control Technologies for Crematoria Mercury Emissions Report

  • Draft Fact Sheet for Crematoria Owner/Operators

  • OPPORTUNITIES

  • In Dialogue with National Trade Association (CANA)

  • Communicating Inventory Findings to U.S. EPA


Crematoria hg initiative

Lessons Learned

  • For some in industry, mercury issue comes as surprise;

  • Industry not comfortable with change, but might listen;

  • Social and ethical concerns appear realistic;

  • National emissions inventory (U.S. EPA) needs to be revisited;

  • Technical aspects of amalgam removal must be answered;

  • However, “preparing” body for cremation is common

  • (examples: pacemaker, artificial limbs)

  • Organ donor concept gained some traction;


Crematoria hg initiative

Where do We go from Here?

  • Use Reports to Develop Informed Next Steps

    • Technical

    • Social

    • Professional Challenges

  • Continuing Dialogue With Industry (CANA)

  • Open More Formal Dialogue with EPA on Inventory


Crematoria hg initiative

Contact Information

Mark McMillan, M.S.

Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment

Mercury and Environmental Problem Solving Programs

303-692-3140

[email protected]


Crematoria hg initiative

Supplemental Slides


Project steering committee1

Project Steering Committee

Committee Members

  • Daren Forbes, Horan and McConaty

  • John Horan, Horan and McConaty

  • George Malesich, DMFDA President

  • Ray Ann Mori, Monarch Society

  • John Reindl, Dane County, Wisconsin

  • Martha Thayer, Mortuary Sciences School Director, Arapahoe Community College

    Also, CDPHE Staff and Contractor Support – P2 Engineers and Practicing Dentist


Crematoria hg initiative

Project Steering Committee

Responsibilities

  • Represent industry community

  • Provide technical input and “reality checks”

  • Review written materials

  • Actively participate in meetings and conference calls

  • Educate peers to Crematoria Initiative


Crematoria hg initiative

  • Colorado Environmental Problem Solving

  • Is there an immediate, urgent, or significant human health risk,

  • potential for environmental harm or the potential for

  • significant environmental benefit?

  • Is there a well-defined set of impacts?

  • Is the problem recurring, or is there a cluster of concentration

  • of occurrences?

  • Is it within the agency’s role and jurisdiction?

  • Is it conceivable that success could be measured?

  • What are the public expectations in addressing the problem

  • and/or is the problem important to the public?

  • Would staff and stakeholders be willing to work on it?


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