Bio cremation… Acid, pressure chamber, slime- all the makings of a really narly sci-fi movie, right? This is exactly why this very real method of body disposition upon death is receiving so much criticism despite its environmentally friendly attributes. Proponents of this technology though believe it is simply a matter of education and understanding that will breakdown the opposition to this toxic-less cremation method.
Unlike traditional cremation that relies on flames, bio cremation involves placing the body in a chamber filled with water and an alkaline called potassium hydroxide. The combination of heat, chemicals, water and pressure causes the breakdown of the human tissue, leaving remains of only liquid and bones. It is a much less traumatic method of breaking the body down than using flames is, and in fact the water/alkali solution is the same used in most cosmetics and skin care products. This residual liquid is safe and biodegradable and can be disposed of in the city’s sewer system.
Despite this superior method, environmentally speaking, at least, there are currently only 13 states and 3 Canadian provinces where bio cremation is legal. The idea of your loved one being reduced to brown sludge can be disturbing and quite frankly, gross. Furthermore, changing laws requires time, money and efforts to educate lawmakers. Miseducation and lack of information though will only be an excuse for so long in a time when the need to invest in our ecological future is critical.