More people are choosing cremation over burial, but there are still a lot of common misconceptions that create unfounded concerns. Some of the biggest misconceptions are centered on cremains.
Because the cremains that the family receives are the physical remains of a loved one, they are sacred to people. It’s the last physical connection a person has to the deceased, which may be why cremation is chosen over burial in the first place. It’s totally understandable to be concerned about what cremains contain. But we’re here to reassure you that the cremains you receive will purely be your loved one’s remains without anything else mixed in.
Cremains Aren’t Ashes That Can Get Mixed Together
It’s easy to see why people would be concerned about the integrity of cremains when you consider that they think the cremains are ashes from incineration. The ashes that are produced in a fire float on the air and can easily get mixed up with other things like dust, dirt and anything else that gets incinerated. But as already noted in an earlier blog post, cremains aren’t ashes.
Cremation chambers are so hot, that the only thing that remains are bones. The bones are ground up to make the cremains. Therefore, it’s near impossible for other materials to get mixed up in the cremains given that it’s such a controlled process that doesn’t involve actual ashes.
Only One Body is Cremated at a Time
Some people have a real concern that the cremains of their loved one will be mixed with someone else. Even if the cremains weren’t strictly made of bones, there shouldn’t be a concern over intermingled remains. There are a few reasons why.
For starters, by law crematoriums can only cremate one body at a time. The only exception to this rule is instances when both authorizing agents for the human remains provide written authorization to do so. But even if the crematorium is given authorization to cremate two bodies at once it’s usually not possible. It’s a logistical factor given that most retorts are only big enough for one body.
No matter what, the retort must be completely cleared out before the next cremation can be performed so there isn’t cross contamination.
Even Foreign Objects in the Body Aren’t in Cremains
Retorts may only fit one body at a time, but what if there are foreign objects in the body? Today, many people have implants, teeth filling and medical devices that are in their bodies. Crematoriums take a few steps to ensure that these foreign objects don’t interfere with the cremation.
Typically, medical devices will be removed before a cremation is performed. This is largely due to safety concerns since some devices, like pacemakers, can explode when exposed to high temperatures. The devices and other foreign objects that aren’t removed prior to cremation will be manually removed if they aren’t incinerated. This can be the case with metal objects, but clothing, wooden caskets and other combustibles won’t be left behind.
Do you have other questions or concerns about direct cremation? Our team can provide the information you need. Just call or text to connect with a cremation expert.