Questions about Cremation
On average, the cremated remains, or ashes, of an adult weigh between 4 pounds (1.8 kg) and 6 pounds (2.7 kg).
Yes. After the cremation is completed and the cremation chamber has cooled down, all the cremated remains are gathered from the chamber and processed into a uniform granular consistency. The crematory or funeral home then returns the ashes to the family or designated representative in either a temporary container or permanent urn.
Yes. You are not required to bury cremated remains or inter them in a columbarium. If you choose to take the ashes home, you will receive the ashes in either a temporary container or a permanent urn, depending on your instructions.
In 2017, Washington state had the highest cremation rate, at 76.4%.
In 2017, Mississippi had the lowest cremation rate, at 20.9%.
Yes. Every state has different laws regarding the cremation of human bodies. Find information about cremation for every state.
No. Cremation is an irreversible process. It reduces the body down to its basic elements, destroying all organic matter so all that remains is inorganic mineral elements and bone fragments. DNA starts to degrade at about 800 degrees F. The heat in a cremation chamber may range from 1,400 to 1,800 degrees F. Any DNA is thus destroyed by the cremation process.
With burial, you can exhume a body and still extract identifying information, even though natural decay processes are present. With cremation, you cannot extract any identifying information from the cremated remains of a person, nor can you distinguish between the cremated remains of one person from another.
Depending on the situation and the laws of your state, it may be possible to exhume a body under certain circumstances and have it cremated. Cremation is recommended if the purpose for exhuming the body is to transport the remains. Due to the natural processes of decay, transporting an exhumed body is more expensive and challenging than transporting the cremated remains of the body once exhumed.
In addition to cremation.com, the following websites and organizations provide resources and information about cremation:
- Cremation Association of North America (CANA)
- International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA)
- The National Funeral Directors Association
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Information
You can also contact any local funeral home or cremation provider for more information.