TECHNOLOGY to cut the deadly fumes caused by cremations has not yet been installed in Colchester.

One cremation is allegedly the equivalent of a car driving more than twice the length of the UK.

But despite being “fully aware” of the emissions produced, the council is among 91 per cent of council-run crematoria which does not have the tech.

This includes Weeley Crematorium and five other Essex sites out of 11 which supplied Newsquest’s data team with information.

The kit, produced by Facultatieve Technologies, costs about £30,000. Using one can reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) - a contributor to respiratory health problems - by up to 80 per cent.

However, many local authorities are yet to do so because controlling the emission of nitrogen oxides is not a legal requirement.

Andrea Luxford-Vaughan, Colchester councillor responsible for customers, said: “Our cremation equipment is nine years old and wasn’t fitted with deNOx equipment when it was installed as it wasn’t an option at that time.

“We’ve consulted our independent environmental regulator about fitting the equipment and have been advised there is no legal requirement to do so, although if further consideration arises, the air quality in the immediate vicinity of the crematorium could be an important factor when making the decision.”

There are three air quality management areas in Colchester, Ms Luxford-Vaughan explained, “but the crematorium sits well outside all those areas”.

“The council is in the process of developing an action plan which sets out how all our operations can become more sustainable and reduce their environmental impact.

“The operations of our crematorium will be considered alongside all other emission sources in the council.”

About 95 per cent of coffins used in cremations are made from chipboard and MDF.

Funerals using these types of coffins produce the same amount of NOx gas as a car driving 2,280 miles according to industry magazine Pharos.

Last year, there were 1,616 cremations in Colchester.

Colchester Council also has a mercury abatement system.