Cremation has increased in popularity every year since 1980. With the passage of a new California law, cremating your loved one has become a little bit easier (and more unique). On October 15, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law into place that would allow for water cremations. This new process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, puts a spin on how traditional cremation procedures are performed. Water cremation is said to be better for the environment as it simulates a more natural tissue and bone decay process than traditional flame-based methods.
During a water cremation, the body is actually never burned, so no harmful gases or pollutants are ever produced. Instead, the body is placed in a steel chamber, under extreme pressure with an alkaline solution made up of 95% water and 5% potassium hydroxide. The chamber itself is then heated to approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time. This process may sound a bit strange, but it is much more similar to how the body would naturally decay. In this heated alkaline solution, the body starts to slowly dissolves, leaving behind only the bones.
After the bones have been extracted, they are crushed into ash and returned to the family. Water cremated remains are much lighter in color and in texture. Flame produced ashes are often darker and more dense from the combination of combustion reactions that occur when the body is heated under extreme temperatures. Still relatively new, water cremation may become more popular especially as other states start to implement laws making it legal.
If you are considering pre-planning for a cremation for yourself, or want to explore these options for a loved one, our friendly staff are happy to answer all of your questions. Feel free to call us today at (610) 572-7078 to schedule a complimentary cremation services consultation.