§ Mr. Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what legislation exists to control(a) toxic mercury vapours from amalgam tooth fillings, (b) radioactive particles from nuclear powered heart pacemakers and (c) PCB contamination from plastic coffin materials given off from crematoria chimneys.
§ Mr. Baldry
[holding answer 15 January 1992]: Under part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, crematoria are subject to local authority air pollution control. The Secretary of State's process guidance on the standards of pollution control to be met by crematoria gives guidance on minimising the emission of potentially toxic substances, for example by ensuring complete combustion (clauses 41–44 of PG5/2, available from HMSO). The holding and use of radioactive material and the discharge of radioactive waste is subject to the provisions of the Radioactive Substances Act 1960. It is our understanding that heart pacemakers are removed prior to cremation.