There have been a number of “unexplained “ explosions at Crematoria in the UK. The most recent of which was at Parndon Wood. After urgent investigation it has been discovered that the cause may be the presence of a Glyceryl Trinitrate Patch; known as a GTN Skin Patch which was present on the deceased. GTN is a new treatment which can be used to treat Chronic Angina. Glyceryl Trinitrate is a variation of TNT, which as we all know is very explosive. This matter has been referred to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) who will make a statement soon.
In the meanwhile please ensure that any GTN Patches are removed from the deceased before they are brought to Baldarroch Chapel and Crematorium for cremation. Examples of various GTN patches currently in use are shown on this page.
Rick Powell the Secretary & Executive Officer at FBCA has issued the following update on 10 January 2017:
Further enquiries have been made with several companies that market GTN trans-dermal patches, which we understand may have caused explosions within operational cremators when left on a body sent for cremation.
The pharmaceutical guidance currently available does not contain relevant advice and so at this point in time I am not able to provide any additional factual guidance in the absence of scientific evidence. However, a leading clinician working with one of the marketing companies has suggested that it would not seem unreasonable to make a pragmatic attempt to remove any foreign material, including such patches, from a body prior to cremation where their presence is known.
The supplier is currently making enquiries with their global scientific teams to escalate this query. I will of course get back to you as soon as I have any additional information on handling and disposal, but realistically, given that there appears to be no current scientific information on this subject, it may take a while to get further information. Until I have additional information, it may help you to advise funeral directors that normal advice to the public on disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals is to take them to a pharmacy.