What is Aquamation? Definition And Regulations For The US States
What is Aquamation?
Aquamation, also commonly referred to as Alkaline Hydrolysis, is one of the latest cremation services, especially popular among recently bereaved all across the US. If you are wondering exactly what Aquamation is, do not fret, we shall cover all vital aspects of the process over the course of this article. While similar to the process of cremation, there is no use of a flame in this process. Instead, the process of Aquamation uses a mixture of 95% water and 5% sodium hydroxide/potassium hydroxide, thus making the process both sustainable for the environment and affordable as well. While the process is steadily gaining popularity all across the US, each state has its own regulations in place for the same.
How Does Aquamation Work?
While the process of Aquamation is highly advanced in terms of technology, as opposed to traditional cremation services, it is vastly more environment-friendly. When you opt for Aquamation, the effect on the deceased’s remains is more similar to accelerated burial decomposition. For the Aquamation process, you will need a pressurized chamber, heat, and the water/alkali solution.
The deceased’s remains are first placed in the pressurized cabin, after which it is filled with the water/alkali solution. Then, the pressurized chamber is heated, to as much as 350 degrees. Next, the amalgamation of the heat, pressure, and solution work together to start the process of decomposition. Once done, everything apart from the bones decompose. Finally, the bones are ground into fine ash and offered to the family for safekeeping.
Cost of Aquamation
Given the fact that funeral homes charge for the use of equipment used, Aquamation cost may be similar, or marginally higher, to cremation costs. On average, Aquamation costs start at roughly $2,000 and stretch to as much as $3,000.
States Where Aquamation is Regulated/Allowed
If you are looking for funeral services and wish to opt for the Aquamation process, you may be wondering if it is legally allowed in your state of residence. Listed below is the complete list of states in the US that have established a set of regulations for the same:
- North Carolina
In addition to this, the following states are currently in the process of establishing regulations for the Aquamation process:
- New York
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
If you wish to opt for the process but are worried about how safe it is – you have nothing to worry about. For years on end, the Mayo Clinic has been making use of this process to dispose of bodies it received as body donations. The water/alkali solution is completely natural and not toxic whatsoever. Additionally, once the process is completed, the solution is totally safe to dispose of down the drain (though there are safety regulations to be followed for the same).
How To Decide Between Burial And Cremation
Cremation is a method of disposing of the body of a deceased person and when a deceased person’s body is placed in a grave in the ground, it is known as a burial.
What Do I Do If Alkaline Hydrolysis Is Not Regulated In My State?
If, by chance, there are no specific Aquamation rules and regulations listed in the books of your state, it may still be available for you to opt for. However, in all those states that have never laid down rules for the same or have outlawed the same, this can prove to be a tough task.
Take the example of Texas. Of the many funeral homes in the state, Green Cremation Texas is one of the very few that still offers Aquamation services, despite the fact that a house bill regarding the same is yet to be approved. This simply implies that the state of Texas is in favor of the same and is in the process of approving all regulations pertaining to the service.
Given the ever-evolving nature of regulations pertaining to the process, if you wish to opt for it, make sure to check for the same with your state’s regulatory board.