NH Senate Rejects Bill To Allow Dissolving Corpses In Liquid

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s Senate has rejected a bill that would have allowed the chemical cremation of bodies, considered an environmentally friendly advance in mortuary science.

The Senate voted 16-8 Thursday against legalizing a process known as alkaline hydrolysis, which uses lye, 300-degree heat and 60 pounds of pressure per square inch to dissolve bodies in big stainless-steel cylinders.

It’s hailed by those in the burgeoning green burial movement as an environmentally friendly alternative to fire cremation, because the byproduct is a sterile liquid that can be disposed of in existing wastewater facilities and does not use fossil fuels or produce carbon emissions.

Opponents cited fears that the effluent byproduct could enter groundwater when being transported to wastewater facilities.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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