Understanding the Cremation Procedure

Information provided by the Cremation Association of North America

What is the temperature during the cremation process?
The cremation process begins with the placement of the enclosed body into the cremation chamber where it is subjected to intense heat and flame reaching temperatures between 1400 and 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. All substances are consumed except bone fragments (calcium compounds) and any non-combustible materials, such as jewelry or prosthesis, which were not removed prior to cremation as the temperature is not sufficient to consume them. During the cremation process it may be necessary to open the cremation chamber and reposition the deceased in order to facilitate a complete and thorough cremation.

How long does cremation take?
The time for cremation to be completed varies with the size and weight of each individual whom is being cremated, but usually takes between 2 to 4 hours. When the cremation is complete a cooling period is necessary before the cremated remains can be removed from the cremation chamber.

How are cremated remains collected from the cremation chamber?
The cremated remains are swept or raked from the cremation chamber. Every effort is made to remove all human remains. However, a small residue may remain in the cremation chamber, resulting in incidental commingling with other cremated remains.

What happens to metal objects in or on the body?
After the cremated remains are removed from the cremation chamber, all non-combustible materials will be separated or removed from the bone fragments by visible or magnetic selection and will be disposed of by the crematory in a non-recoverable manner.

Are Cremated remains processed?
Once the bone fragments have been separated from other material they will be further processed to reduce the size of the bone fragments into uniform particles.

How much do cremated remains weigh?
Cremated remains, depending on the bone structure of the decedent, will weigh between 4 to 9 pounds, and are usually white in color, but can be other colors due to temperature variations and other factors.

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