In the U.S. we are just beginning to use water cremation, also called aquamation and alkaline hydrolysis, and many people are learning about the service.
Anytime a new innovation comes around that changes how things are typically done there’s going to be a learning curve. In that early period there are going to be misconceptions, misnomers and downright myths that can be mistaken as truth.
Myth #1 – Water Cremation is Illegal
There are a lot of misconceptions around whether or not water cremation is legal. All death services are regulated on a state-by-state basis. Currently, 20 states have made it perfectly legal to provide alkaline hydrolysis services. On January 1, 2022 Oregon will become the next state to allow water cremation, and Massachusetts will likely soon follow.
Since the use of water cremation is growing, more states are expected to make the service legal in the coming years.
Myth #2 – The Family Doesn’t Get Remains Back With Water Cremation
This couldn’t be farther from reality. In actuality, there are 20-30% more cremains compared to traditional cremation. Families may be advised to get a larger than average size urn because of this difference.
Water cremation is a gentler process that uses low temperatures and water pressure to naturally decompose all but the bones. Just as with traditional cremation, the bones are ground up to create the cremains. Alkaline hydrolysis preserves more of the bone, therefore there is a larger amount of cremains.
Myth #3 – Water Cremation is Only Done at Medical Facilities
It’s true that alkaline hydrolysis has been used at medical facilities for decades. In fact, that is where the use of water cremation began in the U.S. In 1993, Albany Medical College began using the first commercial water cremation system. Today, crematoriums and funeral homes around the country are equipped to perform water cremations at their facilities.
Myth #4 – There’s No Benefit Over Traditional Cremation in Terms of Eco-Friendliness
Aquamation is far more environmentally friendly than traditional flame-based cremation. Water cremation uses 90% less energy and has a carbon footprint that’s 75% smaller than traditional cremation. It’s even more eco-friendly than green burial in many cases.
Another factor is the lack of harmful byproducts. Traditional cremation is typically more environmentally friendly than burial, but it still generates carbon dioxide and air pollution. The gases that are used to cremate are fossil fuels that come at an ecological cost. With alkaline hydrolysis there’s no flame so there’s no air pollution.
One additional benefit with water cremation is that metal devices and implants in the body are never destroyed. They remain at the end of the process and can be recycled.
Myth #5 – It Isn’t Safe to Put the Remaining Fluids Down the Drain
A part of water cremation that’s come under question is the disposal of the remaining fluid once the process is complete. The fluids are simply poured down the drain, which has been found to be completely safe.
The leftover fluids do not contain harmful toxins like embalming fluid. It contains salts, sugars, amino acids, nutrients and soap. The fluid also doesn’t end up in drinking water. The fluids that are poured down the drain end up at the wastewater treatment facility.
Green Cremation Texas offers water cremation services that are eco-friendly and affordable. It gives families another option that is gentler all around. If you would like to know more about the process or want to arrange a water cremation, please call, text or email us any time of day.