Environmental connections to public health >>
EU proposes ban on toxic embalming fluid
The EU is considering banning embalming fluid which contains formaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. Proponents of the ban are concerned about the chemical’s potential to leach into the ground. The Wall Street Journal writes today of the resistance to the ban from some folks in Ireland, as well as the U.S.-based Dodge Company that manufactures most of the stuff. The Green Burial Council, committed to encouraging greener burial processes, views embalming as an anachronism for which “there's not one shred of evidence that suggests [it] provides any public health benefits.” The Irish who oppose the ban argue that the ban is an obstacle to holding a proper Irish wake, which can take several days to plan and orchestrate.
At the Green Building Council website you can learn more about eco-friendly burials, including the standards by which they certify a burial ground as being either a “conservation” or a “natural” burial ground. Also read what some of our friends have written about green burials.
If you haven’t heard of sky burials already, be sure to read up on this green mountain-top ritual of the Tibetans.