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Mortician stored gallons of human blood at home

Ben McPartland · 5 Mar 2013, 09:46

Published: 05 Mar 2013 09:46 GMT+01:00

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In the fast-paced modern world many people are obliged to bring their work home with them, but you would have thought that of all professions a mortician would be spared this burden.

However when police in the Pyrenees region of France paid a visit to the house of a professional embalmer this week they had the misfortune of discovering that this is not necessarily the case.

In his garage they found around 700 litres of blood taken from the hundreds of human corpses he had embalmed. 

To help preserve human bodies after death an embalmer replaces human blood with formalin and other organic substances. They are then obliged to make sure the blood is incinerated in special locations.

However this freelance mortician was stashing it in his garage.

Police believe the embalmer, who treated around 700 bodies each year, also dumped thousands of litres of human substances in the natural environment of the Pyrenees and in sewers.

“One can only imagine what he has done,” a French prosecutor said this week.

Police do not believe however, the embalmer’s actions were motivated by anything more disturbing than wanting to cut costs.

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 “He could not afford to pay the contract of a waste disposal agency,” police sources told regional newspaper L’Independent which said the man had brought shame on the profession.

Police believe his alleged illegal dumping of human waste may have have damaging knock-on effects for the environment, as the blood may have been contaminated.

He has been charged with improper disposal of infectious waste and illegal dumping. The mortician, who was found to be operating without a license was also charged with illegally running an embalming service.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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