Combustible Corpses

By Jocelyn Selim|Tuesday, October 01, 2002
RELATED TAGS: GADGETS
Heart pacemakers extend the lives of countless patients but can be surprisingly hazardous to others after death, says Christopher Gale, a research fellow at The General Infirmary at Leeds in England. The implants, which are typically hidden under layers of tissue, contain combustible chemicals that can suddenly explode if a body is cremated, injuring unsuspecting workers. Gale surveyed 241 British crematoriums; more than half reported pacemaker explosions, including blasts powerful enough to blow off oven doors and cause hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of damage. For safety's sake, Gale suggests that crematoriums should install metal detectors.




 
Comment on this article
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
DSCMayCover
+

Log in to your account

X
Email address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it emailed to you.

Not registered yet?

Register now for FREE. It takes only a few seconds to complete. Register now »