Recently concern has been raised over the potential exposure that funeral home and crematory personnel may encounter with decedents who have been treated with nuclear medicines or received brachytherapy treatment.This treatment involves the implantation of radioactive seeds.It is the preference of most crematories that the casket or container be made of wood or other combustible material.
Those families’ who would like certain personal possessions to remain with the deceased are encouraged to place them directly in the urn with the cremated remains.
Most crematories require the deceased to be cremated in a combustible, leak proof, rigid, covered container, if a casket is not being used.
Before cremation can begin, all authorization forms must be completed and signed.
This includes obtaining important information and reviewing the crematory’s rules, regulations and procedures.
The rupture of certain types of radioactive seeds during the actual cremation or during the processing of the cremated remains could result in a significant release of radiation in a relatively confined area.
Depending on the type of seed and its half-life the funeral director must determine if the seeds should be removed or the cremation delayed until the seeds are rendered inactive.
A heart pacemaker or other implanted mechanical, prosthetic or radioactive device can explode during cremation causing significant damage to the crematorium and injury to staff.
As a preventive measure, the funeral director must determine if the deceased had any of these surgical implants so that they may be removed.
The cremation process takes place inside a cremation chamber constructed to withstand intense heat and flame, reaching temperatures as high as 1800° Fahrenheit (1000° Centigrade).
The inside of the chamber is lined on both sides with a heavy refractory brick or tile, while the floor and ceiling ressts are made of concrete.
Cremation is a technical heating process, which reduces the human body to its basic elements primarily bone fragments and particles, collectively referred to as “cremated remains”.