Liquid cremation may soon be legal in Texas

Liquid cremation may soon be legal in Texas

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - An unconventional method of laying a body to rest may soon be taking place in Texas.

When people lose a loved one, some choose the traditional burial and other choose fire cremation. But a new bill proposes an alternative...liquid cremation.

The scientific term is alkaline hydrolysis or as it is now known, liquid cremation. The body is placed in a chamber with a heated alkaline liquid and after a few hours, all that remains is liquid and fragments of bone.

The practice is illegal in Texas, but a new proposed bill wants to change that. Currently, 13 states can use this method. Disposing of the water has caused some worry around the country, with concerns of it impacting the waste water system.

"The funeral service commission of Texas does not see that as a viable way to dispose of a human body," says D. Michael Land with the Texas Funeral Directors Association. "So it's really not an option to us here in Texas at this point."

Newschannel 10 spoke with a few funeral directors in Amarillo. Many say they have yet to hear from families asking for the service.

House Member Sarah Davis says liquid cremations offer a greener option, as regular cremations can release pollutants in the air. But a concern for funeral directors in Texas is the price of the service.

The equipment is twice as expensive as regular crematories, making the service more expensive for a family.

"I think that there would be a pretty good fight for someone to come in and you know tell a funeral director hey you're going to have to get rid of the machine which you've invested all this money into just to put a new machine in place," says Land.

Just as the traditional cremation, families can take remains home with them.

And the directors we spoke with agree this is not a bad thing, as it could give families more options, however they don't see it picking up speed in our area anytime soon.

The item was brought before the Association's Legislative Committee and it was decided that this was not something that the Texas Funeral Directors Association would take a stand to prevent. They say, "the equipment needed to perform this procedure is much more expensive than what a traditional cremation unit costs." It was decided that if a funeral home wished to invest in that much money into it, they basically have the group's blessings.  The procedure may be considered a more green alternative for disposition of a human body.  Should one desire to use one of these units, the group says they may wish to contact their local water department to see if there are any rules on their side of the coin.

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