Options for Cremations
Cremations are among the cremation services offered in Glendale, AZ, but you may not know that there are actually several methods by which a body can be cremated.
Most people, when they think of cremations, think of the body being putting into a cremation chamber in a crematory where high heat is applied to reduce the body to bone fragments. The bone fragments are then removed and any metal that is among them is removed. The bones are then pulverized until they reach the consistency of sand. These are the cremation remains that are placed in a cremation container and then returned to the family.
However, in the last few years, new methods of cremations have emerged as alternatives to the traditional form of cremation.
One of those methods is alkaline hydrolysis cremation, which is also known as water cremation. It employs many of the traditional cremation procedures, but the process of breaking down the body is much more natural. This is considered to be an environmentally-friendly form of cremation, since there are no carbon emissions (as there are with traditional cremations), which is better for the planet.
So, what happens during water cremation?
First, the body is place in a steel chamber. The chamber is filled with a mixture of water, sodium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide. Pressure fills the chamber so that this mixture doesn’t overheat and come to a boil.
Once the maximum amount of pressure has been built up in the chamber, the temperature in the chamber is set to 300° Fahrenheit and allow to run between four and six hours (traditional cremation using high heat typically takes between two and three hours). The combination of the elevated pressure, the chemical/water solution, and the heat gently break down the body during this time, leaving only the bones.
After the water cremation process has completed, the bones are removed from the steel chamber. They are allowed to thoroughly dry, after which they undergo the same pulverization process that bones from traditional cremations do. The cremation remains are then placed in a cremation container and are returned to the family.
One difference that is obvious between the cremation remains from a high-heat cremation and those from a water cremation is that the cremation remains from a water cremation have a lighter color than those from a high-heat cremation. This is because of the chemicals in the water solution and the lower heat that is applied that breaks down the body more slowly.
Water cremations are still a relatively unknown option for people who want to be cremated, but the funeral industry has been using water cremation for almost 15 years. If you don’t specify that you want a water cremation for yourself or for your loved one, funeral homes will use the traditional high-heat method of cremation.
However, if you want a more ecologically-friendly cremation, you should make sure to talk with your funeral director about having a water cremation instead of a high-heat cremation. If you decide, however, to opt for a traditional high-heat cremation, but you’re concerned about it’s effects on the environment, it’s important to remember that all cremations are much more environmentally-friendly than underground burials.
If you want to know more about cremation services in Glendale, AZ, our compassionate and experienced staff at Simply Cremations & Funeral Arrangements can help. You can come by our funeral home at 16952 W Bell Rd., Ste 303, Surprise, AZ 85374, or you can contact us today at (623) 975-9393.