Ohio is the only state where the method
, called alkaline hydrolysis, has been used in the funeral industry, but others are allowing for it
, spurred by a push from interested crematories and equipment manufacturers or by a desire to have regulations ready if the process comes to their regions.
Proponents say it has lower operating costs and is greener than traditional cremation
because it does not cause the emissions that incineration does, such as carbon dioxide and mercury from dental fillings.
Skeptics question whether sending someone's remains down a drain is safe for the environment and public health.
Changes taking effect this year will allow alkaline hydrolysis in Kansas, Maryland and Colorado
, where the governor signed a bill into law April 6. It already was legal in Florida, Maine, Minnesota and Oregon. New York and California
also are considering allowing it.
The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and the University of Florida use it for human cadavers, and it has been used for two decades on animal carcasses.
Also known as resomation, the method uses lye — a type of corrosive chemical used to make soaps and cleaners — in combination with heat and sometimes extra pressure in a large metal cylinder.