What is cremation?
Cremation is a means of final body disposition that uses intense heat to break down the body to bone fragments which are often pulverized along with the other organic matter to an ash-like substance.
The Cremation Process
Cremation is performed by placing the deceased in a cremation container of your choice, then placing the container into a cremation chamber, referred to in the industry as a "retort," where the cremation container and the remains are subject to intense heat and flame. Through the use of a suitable fuel, incineration of the container and contents is accomplished by raising the temperature to approximately 1600 degrees F. All substances are consumed except bone fragments (calcium components) and metal (including dental gold, silver and other non-human material), as the temperature is not sufficient to consume them.
Due to the nature of the cremation process any personal possessions or valuable materials, such as dental gold or jewelry, as well as any body prostheses or dental bridgework, that are left with the decedent and not removed from the casket or container prior to cremation will be destroyed or will otherwise not be recoverable. As the casket or container will not be opened by the crematory, to remove valuables, to allow for a final viewing or for any other reason, the Authorizing Agent understands that arrangements must be made with the funeral home to remove any such possessions or valuables prior to the time the decedent is transported to the crematory.
Following the cooling period, the cremated remains are then swept from the cremation chamber. The crematory makes a reasonable effort to remove all of the remains, but some dust and other residue from the process are always left behind. In addition, while every effort will be made to avoid commingling, inadvertent or incidental commingling of minute particles of cremated remains from the residue of previous cremations is a possibility, and the Authorized Agent understands and accepts this fact.
After the cremated remains are removed from the cremation chamber, all noncombustible materials, such as bridgework, and materials from the casket or container, such as hinges, latches, nails, etc., are separated and removed from the human bone fragments via visible or magnetic selection and are disposed of by the crematory. Once sorted, whatever large and recognizable skeletal remains found will then be mechanically processed, unless otherwise specified, are pulverized into granulated particles and placed into a designated container.
A special thank you to Romero Funeral Home for sharing this educational article with us.