20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Death
7. So much for recycling: Burials in America deposit 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid—formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol—into the soil each year. Cremation pumps dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air.
8. Alternatively . . . A Swedish company, Promessa, will freeze-dry your body in liquid nitrogen, pulverize it with high-frequency vibrations, and seal the resulting powder in a cornstarch coffin. They claim this “ecological burial” will decompose in 6 to 12 months as you fertilize a newly planted tree.
Check out the list at Discover.com
The traditional casket burial effects the drainage-, ground- and drinking water as well as the ground itself and contributes to eutrophication and oxygen depletion of the seas. The main reason is the lack of oxygen at the depth a casket is buried.
The energy consumption during a cremation is high, equivalent to 6 gallons of fluid oil and about a pound of activated carbon for each cremation. The effect on the air is considerable. During the combustion flue gases contain carbon dioxide and dioxin which increases the green house effect. Mercury is released in the form of gas. Studies estimate that 1/3 of total mercury emissions may be from cremation.