I Breathe Dead People: Soot From Cremated Human Bodies Falls on Ottawa Homes

caution zombies ahead photo

Okay, there are no zombies in Ottawa. But it's still raining human remains in some backyards.
A Different Kind of Pollution
Looks like we're celebrating Halloween early this year... Residents of Ottawa, Canada, have been complaining that soot from a crematorium on Bank street in the South of the city has been "falling and blowing on nearby homes" and making it impossible at times to open windows or sit outside. Dawn Lynch, a resident whose home is about 250 meters (820 feet) from the crematorium said: "It makes you feel like you're breathing in the remnants of a ... dead body."
ottawa crematorium photo

This blurry image is a screen capture from a video that shows black smoke coming out of the crematorium. The video was taken in 2008, and since then a "faulty cremator" has supposedly been shut down."

Mike Ball lives near the crematorium and says that since some trees were cut down to make room for a housing development about three years ago, the human remains soot has been finding its way to his backyard. "It's very thick smoke and it'll last maybe about five or 10 minutes and then that could happen two or three times a day -- it depends. It's not pleasant." He now encourages his kids not to play in the yard during those periods.

Crematorium Operators Claim it Meets Emissions Regulations
The CBC reports:

Benoit Bariteau, director of cemeteries for the Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa, which runs Hope Crematorium, said the facility has a certificate of approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, is inspected by the ministry regularly, and adheres to strict emissions regulations for crematoriums. In addition, work has been going on in recent months to upgrade the crematorium with equipment that will further reduce emissions.

Well, maybe the emissions regulations should be tightened if they allow for so much soot to be produced. But the real questions is why is the crematorium so close to residential areas?

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