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Should a Crematorium Be Built in a Residential Neighborhood? [POLL]

Facebook - stop the crematorium group
Facebook – stop the crematorium group

A group of Manalapan residents have some concerns about a crematorium that’s being proposed for the corner of Tennent and Craig Roads; on the grounds of the Old Tennent Church.

Their concerns center around the emissions that cremations would put out – mainly in the form of mercury, which they say have been documented in various studies – including in this opinion piece:

In 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency stated that toxins are released into the environment through the cremation of human bodies. The most dangerous of these is mercury. During the cremation process, the mercury in the body becomes vaporized into a colorless, odorless gas.

Mercury is especially dangerous in this heated vaporized form because when it is inhaled, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the brain and other organs. Even very small amounts of mercury can be dangerous. The EPA confirms that there are serious health effects from even low-level exposure to mercury.

The piece goes on to say that the crematorium mentioned in the opinion piece would be better built in a rural area – something that is not pertinent to New Jersey as crematoriums have to be on cemetery grounds.

The one in question would be on the grounds of the Old Tennent Cemetery – but the cemetery which dates back to the 1700s has had a number of developments spring up around it in recent years – as is the case in most of New Jersey.

A Facebook page has been set up to stop the crematorium from being installed.

According to those who’ve set up the page:

Are human cremation and crematorium emissions (mercury, particulates from incineration, etc.): Right for our residential neighborhood? Right for property zoned Residential Environmental? An applicant seeks to build a crematorium at the corner of Tennent & Craig Roads in Manalapan, New Jersey. Make your voice heard:

Monday, 4/21/2014 6:00 p.m.: Meeting of Concerned Residents at the Monmouth County Library – 125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan

Monday, 4/21/2014 7:30 p.m.: Township Environmental Commission Meeting at Manalapan Town Hall, Route 522, Manalapan

Thursday, 4/24/2014 7:30 p.m.: Township Planning Board Meeting, Manalapan Town Hall

Again, the main concern seems to be the toxins that would stem from bodies being cremated at the site.

However, I wonder if it also may have to do with the skittishness of some who may think there will be the smell of burning flesh blanketing the area.

It seems to me that it’s more the former than the latter; and am personally in agreement with one commenter who would want a study done by an independent contractor that would either confirm or deny the existence of toxins, particularly mercury, being deposited into the atmosphere surrounding the facility.

Also, there’s more likely the concern of the homeowners as to the value of their homes being affected.

Other than that, I don’t see a problem with it.

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