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19 States Allow Alkaline Hydrolysis: What Your Funeral Home Needs to Know

by | Aug 13, 2019 | Funeral Profession

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You’ve probably heard the buzz around alkaline hydrolysis, but what exactly is it and why’s it gaining popularity? Per an article in the August 2019 issue of The Director, 19 states now allow alkaline hydrolysis as an end-of-life arrangement.

These states include Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming.

So, what does your funeral home need to know about this end-of-life arrangement? Let’s answer these questions below.

What Is Alkaline Hydrolysis

You may have heard of alkaline hydrolysis by its other names, such as aquamation, water cremation, liquid cremation, and many others. To put it simply, the process involves dissolving the remains in an alkaline solution, usually salt potassium hydroxide. Depending on various factors, it can take between two to 12 hours. To learn more about the process, check out this aquamation article!

Why Are People Choosing It

There are many reasons why someone may choose this as their end-of-life option, including:

  • Wanting to be more environmentally friendly
  • Not being religious
  • Not wanting a traditional funeral service
  • Wanting more ways to create a personalized funeral service
  • Personal preference

However, per the 2019 NFDA Consumer Awareness and Preferences Survey, only 7.5% of the respondents knew what this arrangement was. But over time as this arrangement gains popularity and legalization in more states, more families will become aware of it. And if your funeral home already offers this service, it’s important to educate your families about it and also market it to your community.

What Does This Mean for Your Funeral Home

If your state allows this end-of-life arrangement, it doesn’t mean you have to invest in the equipment right away. Before making any major decisions, assess your funeral home’s current services and budget to see if it’s an option. You also should do some research on your funeral home’s community and what your competitors are doing to determine if it makes sense to offer these services. Even if it doesn’t make sense now, it may in the future as your community and funeral trends continue to change, so you should still be aware of alkaline hydrolysis.


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