A research by the NederlandseOrganisatievoorToegepastNatuurwetenschappelijkOnderzoek (TNO) has been looking into resomation, more commonly known as water cremation, as an alternative to the more traditional methods of burials or cremations.
The research, commissioned by the Dutch funeral group Yarden, discovered that resomation is a safe option, with no definitive environmental reason not to accept it. Yarden has expressed their opinion on opening up the funeral market and its cremation urns for adults, for resomations, asking the government to make it legal.
The process of resomation utilizes alkaline hydrolysis in order to cremate the body. The remains are put into a pressurized vessel, which is then filled up with a mix of lye and water, which will then be heated up to 160 degrees, with the elevated pressure in the container preventing boiling. The body instead breaks down into its chemical components, the process taking at least three hours to complete.
The process was originally patented back in 1888, in the US, where it is legal in a few states, as well as in some countries across the world, the Netherlands not being one of them. Notably, the process has recently been in the spotlight with some looking to it as an environmentally friendly option, some seeing it as the complete opposite, as they fear that the liquefied remains could contaminate the environment.
The new research from the TNO says that the process meets environmental standards, with earlier research from the organization saying that it was less environmentally damaging than the other forms of burial or cremation, something Yarden points out in its website.
A survey done by Yarden suggested that 23% of people in the Netherlands would be open to shopping cremation urns for adults and opting for resomation as an alternative to the more traditional cremation method. According to the Director of Funeral Arrangements for Yarden, Sabrina Franken, says that for some cultures and religions, cremation just aren’t a viable option. She says that the company sees resomation as a mature, respectful and environmentally safe and sustainable option, different from the traditional options, where Water is the most important element, not fire or earth.