WARRINGTON Borough Council has confirmed it has no plans to introduce a special technology to cut ‘cremation pollution’ by reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx).

But the Labour-run authority says state-of-the-art equipment currently in place at Walton Lea Crematorium, which it owns, has significantly reduced pollution.

An investigation from the Newsquest Data Investigations Unit found more than 90 per cent of publicly-run crematoriums in the country do not have technology in place to reduce harmful NOx emissions created during the cremation process.

But most councils with responsibility for crematoria, who responded to FOIs, said they had not installed deNOx technology as it is not currently a UK requirement.

Around 95 per cent of coffins used in cremations are made from chipboard/MDF and funerals using these types of coffins produce the same amount of NOx gas as a car driving 2,280 miles, or 3,650 cars driving past the crematorium during the course of a cremation, according to industry magazine Pharos.

Facultatieve Technologies, which supplies the majority of the UK’s cremators, is developing technology to reduce NOx gases – a major factor in poor urban air quality.

But this is only in place in a handful of the 307 crematoria across England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man – FOI responses made to Newsquest’s Data Investigations Unit have revealed.

A spokesman for the Green Party said: “We’re very concerned about NOx pollution. We’re in no doubt that cremations are contributing to this problem.

“Bereaved families should be equipped with the information they need to make more environmentally-friendly choices when saying goodbye to a loved one.”

There are 307 crematoria in the UK – 198 of which are publicly run by councils or joint committees, with 109 privately-operated.

Of the 198 public facilities, 181 were confirmed through a FOI request not to have deNOx technology installed, which amounts to 91 per cent.

Warrington Borough Council is among the 91 per cent of local authorities not to have it in place.

It owns and operates Walton Lea Crematorium, which had 2,043 cremations in 2018.

The council confirmed deNOx is not installed at the site and that it has no plans to install it, but confirmed it has mercury abatement equipment operating there.

A spokesman said: “We actively reduce and control emissions where possible and we operate under an environmental permit, which sets out conditions and strict emission limits that must be met.

“These emission limits have been set nationally.

“Our emissions are independently tested each year and we share these results with our environmental protection team to make sure we’re doing all we can to limit our emissions.

“We made a significant investment in new cremators – with state-of-the-art Mercury abatement equipment – just short of a decade ago, which has significantly reduced pollutants from our crematorium.

“It’s a technology many other councils are yet to invest in and we would welcome sharing our experience, guidance and advice with other local authorities.”