There’s a lot of mystery surrounding cremations. Many people are more familiar with the burial process, which involves putting a wide variety of objects in the ground. But that’s not the case with cremations.
There are a number of things that can’t be burned during a cremation, but that doesn’t mean simply removing clothing and accessories. Sometimes there are objects within the body that can and should be removed before cremating.
Certain medical devices, like a pacemaker, must be removed before a cremation can be performed. The reason for this is twofold at Green Cremation Texas. First and foremost, incinerating medical devices is dangerous. The heat can cause devices to explode which could damage the retort and cause a fire or injure someone.
The second reason we ensure that all medical devices are removed is because it can cause harmful toxins as a byproduct. Medical devices are made of metals and plastics that emit air pollutants when burned. On top of that, there is the potential risk for infectious material to be released into the air.
A wide range of medical implants are used these days. Whether or not they need to be removed prior to cremation actually depends mostly on what’s implanted and the type of cremation service that’s selected.
One of the biggest issues is that the remains will adhere to the silicone that’s in some medical implants during flame cremation. Since crematoriums don’t typically remove implants the remaining gel is removed as best as possible from the remains.
But there’s an alternative. Aquamation, or water cremation, breaks down the organic material of the body without breaking down the implants. In fact, all medical devices and foreign objects are left over and separated from the remains.
Rods, Pins and Plates
Many metals are not going to melt at 1,800 degree Fahrenheit, a standard temperature for cremation. Titanium and steel won’t even come close to melting, and gold may not either. Silver melts at just under 1,800 degrees.
Since rods, pins, plates and staples are very hard to remove before the cremation, they are usually removed after. A magnet can be used to attract the metal so that it’s not in the remains.
Metals that are removed should be properly recycled or given to the family upon request.
Gold or Silver Teeth
Gold and silver teeth are an interesting exception. The metals won’t break down completely, but some will melt and get mixed in with the bone that eventually becomes part of the remains. If you are wondering about gold, you have to keep one thing in mind. Most dental gold is mixed with an alloy. Since it isn’t pure it has a lower melting point and likely won’t remain after the cremation.
In most cases, there’s little to no financial gain from removing the teeth beforehand. However, the crematorium should ask the family if they want to remove gold or silver teeth before the cremation. Often, a dentist is required to remove the teeth, which is a separate fee from the itemized funeral expenses.
At Green Cremation Texas, we take additional precautions to ensure harsh toxins are not released during the cremation process. The goal is that nothing other than natural, organic matter enters the retort. This is the all-around safest outcome.
If you’d like to know more about our green cremation process you can contact us by phone, text or email any day of the week.