When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Up in smoke

Up in smoke
Originally uploaded by Sparrows' Friend.
British crematoria are required by law to keep emissions to a minimum. Before we were so fussy about pollution (because the dangers weren’t recognised), bodies were cremated in all sorts of unsuitable outfits, and with all sorts of strange items in the coffins. It’s been known for relatives or friends to try to smuggle alcohol into a coffin - "he liked a little drink" – or to put coins in to pay debts. Nowadays, the coffin, lining and robes must all be made of approved materials, and checks are made that no one’s tried to place anything unsafe or unusual inside.

Cardboard coffins are becoming popular, but staff say they sometimes burn too fast. If the coffin catches fire before the door is closed, the body is exposed.

One of the latest concerns is about pollution from mercury in tooth fillings. They won’t take out your teeth, so they have to try to find other ways to stop it from escaping into the atmosphere.

1 comment:

Tom C said...

Ah, the technology of death. It all sounds a bit reminiscent of Germany 1940-45. I wish we could just be vaporised somehow - perhaps this is what cremation is.