Wake Memorial Park, LLC has submitted plans to the Town of Cary for approval to develop a crematorium on the Wake Memorial Park cemetery site located on Green Hope School Road.  Crematoriums emit toxins into the environment including mercury which are harmful to nearby residents, especially their children.  Other localities across the United States have prohibited the development of crematoriums within residential neighborhoods due to health concerns and the overall lack of information around just how harmful these facilities can be.  Please help keep the neighborhoods and schools near the Wake Memorial Park cemetery safe by signing this petition that requests the Town of Cary to stop the development of this crematorium.

Letter to
Town of Cary
Director Town of Cary Planning Department Jeff Ulma
Town of Cary Long Range Planning Manager Philip Smith
and 2 others
Town of Cary Zoning & Land Development Planning Manager Wayne Nicholas
Town of Cary Development Review Senior Planner Kevin Hales
As representatives of the citizens of Cary, NC, I am contacting you to request that you deny the request by Wake Memorial Park, LLC to develop a crematorium on the Wake Memorial Park cemetery site. It is a known fact that amalgam dental fillings contain mercury alloys which when introduced through deceased humans into the cremation process of intense heat result in the volatilization of mercury and its emission into the atmosphere. Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2008, “Elemental (metallic) mercury primarily causes health
effects when it is breathed as a vapor where it can be absorbed through the lungs.” Exposure to mercury is particularly dangerous for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children, since mercury is most harmful in the early stages of development.

Proponents of crematoriums will state that emissions of mercury from these facilities are so low that the EPA chooses not to regulate them. In reality, under the Clean Air Act the EPA only regulates solid waste units and since they do not wish to label the human body as solid waste, crematoriums continue to operate unregulated resulting in little information around the actual emissions of these facilities. Proponents will also state that the levels of mercury emitted from crematoriums are not high enough to cause health risks to nearby residents. In direct contrast, the medical community including Stephan Bose-O'Reily, MD, MPH states "there is no known safe level of exposure [of mercury]" and that "neither children nor adults should have any mercury in their bodies".

Many localities across the United States have decided to prohibit the development of crematoriums in residential areas. In Grinnell, Iowa the town concluded that a crematorium would “introduce an incompatible land use by inserting a long-term source of potentially dangerous toxins into a residential area” and that “homeowners in such an area maintain the reasonable expectation that their city government will establish and preserve zoning rules that keep the air that they and their children breathe as clean as possible”. In addition, in 2009 the Georgia state legislature enacted House Bill 68 which prohibits a crematory from being located within 1,000 feet of a residential subdivision. The proposed crematorium on the Wake Memorial Park cemetery site is within 50 feet of the nearest residence, 1,300 feet to Highcroft Drive Elementary School, 3,200 feet to Green Hope High School, and 4,600 feet to Mills Park Elementary School.

The signers of this petition have chosen to live in Cary for its commitment to providing an exceptional environment to work, play and raise a family. We ask that in delivering on this commitment, the Town of Cary rejects the request for the development of a crematorium on the Wake Memorial Park for the reasons stated here within.