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Which Part of the Body Doesn’t Burn During Cremation?

There are several ways to dispose of a person’s body after their death honourably. Burials have been the favoured method for being perceived as more respectful to the body for a long time. However, cremations have also risen in popularity in the past several years.

To better decide on the best way to send off your loved one, you should understand what happens during cremation. Notably, one concerning aspect of cremation is the body itself — what happens to it, and what remains of it? Let’s take a look.

What Is a Cremation?

Cremation is a method to dispose of a dead person’s body through burning. The body is put into a specially designed furnace that can reach temperatures of 982°C and reduced into ashes. 

The process can take anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the person’s size and coffin material, which is also cremated alongside the body if it’s suitable. Before cremation, the body is appropriately prepared according to the family’s wishes.

Once done, the remaining ashes are further ground into a fine, sand-like powder by a cremulator. They are then put in a temporary urn and sent to the family.

Which Part of the Body Doesn’t Burn During Cremation?

The entire body, except the skeletal structure, burns during cremation. Soft tissue is inevitably incinerated due to the furnace’s extremely high temperature. Salts, minerals, and bits of the skeleton are all that remains among the ashes. Since the skeleton doesn’t turn into ashes but fractures into pieces, the remains are further processed in a cremulator.

The cremulator grounds the remaining ashes and bits of bone into a fine powder.

Some artificial body parts may also be removed before cremation. For example, artificial joints, which are made of titanium or steel, are kept and later extracted from the ashes. However, electrical parts such as pacemakers can explode and damage the retort when exposed to extreme heat. As such, they’re extracted from the body before the process begins.

Final Thoughts

Raising concern about the fate of your loved one’s body during cremation is normal. While several religions forbid this process because of being less respectful to the body, it’s a common practice in some traditions.

However, what’s critical is that cremations are an irreversible process. Before you decide on how to send off your loved one, consider how they would’ve wanted to go and find the best method to honour their memory.