Photo: BBC News
An environmentally-friendly form of cremation is gaining traction in the United States, Neil Bowdler of BBC reports. The makers of the Resomation machine claim that it produces a third less greenhouse gas than cremation, uses a seventh of the energy and allows for safe disposal of dental amalgam.
Bowdler notes that mercury from amalgam – an alloy of mercury with another metal used for dental fillings – vaporised in crematoria is blamed for producing a portion of the world’s airborne mercury emissions.
The three-hour process, which involves heating the remains at about 572 °F in a pressurised vessel containing a non-acidic solution, reduces the body to skeletal remains which are processed into a white ash.
There are now two machines running – one in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the other in Stillwater, Minnesota – and eight more states have passed the necessary legislation to permit the use of Resomation.
Resomation CEO Sandy Sullivan told BBC that families have been “very positive about the process,” citing the daughter of a man whose body went through the machine who was “absolutely delighted to be able to give their father an exit which they were convinced he would have absolutely loved, being very environmentally attuned.”
Below Sullivan explains how it works:
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