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cremation weight limit

 
 
Equus
 
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 09:43 am
Someone told me that I could not be cremated if I die because I'm too fat- there is a weight limit on cremation and fat corpses won't burn completely. Is there any truth in this? Couldn't they just leave the burner on longer? Or chop me in two and charge my relatives for two 'batches'?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 11,965 • Replies: 49
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 10:00 am
From what I've read (and my experience in the kitchen and over the grill) fat burns more quickly and completely than muscle tissue.

According to research at the U of TN's Body Farm, fat rots much more quickly than muscle tissue. When blowflies join the party, maggots can consume as much as 40 pounds of fatty flesh a day.

My guess is that if crematoriums impose an arbitrary limit, it is by bulk rather than by weight--after all, some turkeys just don't fit in a toaster oven. I think you'd have to be sliced lengthwise--more complicated than simply chopping you in half.

Do you have an "in" at a local sawmill?
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 10:02 am
It would probably do some good for you to slim down before your final resting phase Equus. I maintain a svelte 168 pound body to avoid such scenarios as I also wish to be cremated. I'm sure there must be a crematorium for "big and tall" men or, is there isn't, it would be a great idea for an entrepreneur.
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Montana
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 10:10 am
Boy, this is news to me and I wonder if there's any truth to it.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 10:11 am
I wouldn't worry about it, Equus. Marlon Brando was cremated.
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roger
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 10:23 am
Kind'a sorry I had to go and read this one.
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 10:35 am
But Eva - what do they charge for Brandos cremation? Probably much more than the average man can afford! And could you imagine the size of the urn?
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 02:27 pm
LOL! There were probably enough ashes to scatter all the way to Tahiti!!!
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 02:35 pm
At the high temperatures used, the fat, muscle and fluids will all be totally destroyed with ease. It's the bone (s) that are extremely difficult to destroy by high temperature.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 02:36 pm
By the way, does anyone know what the upper weight limit is to cremate a human body?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 03:01 pm
http://www.taphophilia.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=321

Fascinating article. Google is a wonderful place. An exerpt:



George Lemke, the executive director of the Casket and Funeral Supply Association, said that shape more than weight determined whether someone would require an oversize coffin. But for people of average height, he said, those above 300 pounds are likely candidates.

Many families are unaware their relatives will need a special coffin until a funeral director measures the body and informs them. Some then face difficult choices. Grace Moredock of Evanston, Ill., said that in 1999, when her mother died weighing 340 pounds, the family could not afford an oversize coffin and opted for cremation. "Because of our faith and our religious belief we would have preferred to have buried her," she said. Moredock herself weighs 400 pounds and she said the experience had affected her own funeral plans. "I'd prefer to be buried," she said. "But I wouldn't say to my family, 'You have to bury me,' because I wouldn't want them to be in a bind if they couldn't afford it."

For the severely obese, though, cremation may not be an option. Jack Springer, the executive director of the Cremation Association of North America, said most crematoria cannot handle bodies over 500 pounds.

One way that some companies have responded is by reducing the thickness of their coffins' sides and the profiles of their handles, so they can hold larger bodies but still fit in a standard vault.

Cemetery owners have less flexibility. Many cemeteries were plotted years ago, and in the more crowded cemeteries, burial vaults are lined up wall to wall, not unlike seats on an airliner, to maximize potential sales. And just as on a plane, it is impossible to buy an extra half a seat.

"If we have someone who is oversized we may have to go larger than the actual grave space permits," said William Wright, the vice president of Fairlawn Cemetery in Hutchinson, Kan. "The family would have to own it."

The issue can be especially complicated when the deceased has prepurchased a site, but cannot fit in it.

For funeral directors and grieving families, discussions over the deceased's weight can be especially awkward.

Tim King, an undertaker at the Tufts-Schildmeyer Funeral Home in Goshen, Ohio, said, "When you tell a family that just lost a loved one that their loved one is too big for a casket, what they hear is you saying, 'Mom or Dad is fat,' " he said.

King said the weight issue had given rise to a new euphemism. "We say, 'Mom's not going to look comfortable in that casket,' " he said. "The family knows we mean, 'Mom won't fit.' "

Families that have buried large relatives say it is important to compare funeral homes, since some funeral directors with more experience burying the obese can perform the task at a lower cost. Lois Kehrer, whose brother-in-law John Kehrer of Loveland, Ohio, died last spring at 52 of heart failure at 696 pounds, said the first undertaker the family spoke to said Kehrer would require a custom casket, a custom burial vault and two funeral plots, which together cost $20,000.

The Kehrers eventually found another funeral director who could fit Kehrer into a ready-made coffin from Goliath, and a local cemetery agreed to fit the coffin in a single plot, by positioning it slightly off center. The cost of the funeral came to $7,921.74.

"People need to be aware there are other options," Kehrer said. "We kind of lucked out."

Hazelett, the coffin maker from Indiana, said he expected the coffin industry to continue courting the oversize market.

"The economic opportunity exists until the country changes," he said. "We're just reacting to the supersizing of America."




















ยท
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 03:25 pm
I wonder why the cutoff is 500 pounds. Why not increase the duration of the heat treatment to destroy the body?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 03:38 pm
My guess is that anyone over 500 pounds wouldn't fit in the oven.

Look at the need for outsized MRI machines.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 07:33 pm
I'm thinking of starting a new business offering post-mortem liposuction.

Think about it.

Do you have a special outfit that you want to be buried in, but it's two sizes too small now?

Wouldn't you like to lose those last 15 (or 50) pounds before all your loved ones see you for the last time?

Wouldn't you like to know that you could be at your ideal weight for all of eternity?

Have you always wanted to do liposuction, but were afraid of surgery? Allergic to anesthetics? Physical condition made you a poor surgery risk?
None of those would matter!

Think of the advantages for surgeons! No special operating rooms needed, no need for sterilization of instruments, no complaints from dissatisfied patients, no malpractice insurance....it would be a dream come true.

I can't believe nobody's thought of this before now! I'd pay for it. Wouldn't you?
0 Replies
 
pueo
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 07:58 pm
roger wrote:
Kind'a sorry I had to go and read this one.


same here....

eva, post mortem liposuction Shocked
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 08:40 pm
Eva wrote:
I'm thinking of starting a new business offering post-mortem liposuction.

Think about it.

Do you have a special outfit that you want to be buried in, but it's two sizes too small now?

Wouldn't you like to lose those last 15 (or 50) pounds before all your loved ones see you for the last time?

Wouldn't you like to know that you could be at your ideal weight for all of eternity?

Have you always wanted to do liposuction, but were afraid of surgery? Allergic to anesthetics? Physical condition made you a poor surgery risk?
None of those would matter!

Think of the advantages for surgeons! No special operating rooms needed, no need for sterilization of instruments, no complaints from dissatisfied patients, no malpractice insurance....it would be a dream come true.

I can't believe nobody's thought of this before now! I'd pay for it. Wouldn't you?


If you're going to do the liposuction, you'd better hurry before the deceased goes into rigor mortis.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 09:39 pm
Okay, I'll hurry. Wink
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Tue 13 Jul, 2004 09:42 pm
C'mon folks...if we can pay for cosmetologists and hairstylists to make our bodies look better after death, why not liposuction? 'Tis a fair question...
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Wed 14 Jul, 2004 01:17 am
Eva wrote:
I'm thinking of starting a new business offering post-mortem liposuction.

Think about it.

Do you have a special outfit that you want to be buried in, but it's two sizes too small now?

Wouldn't you like to lose those last 15 (or 50) pounds before all your loved ones see you for the last time?

Wouldn't you like to know that you could be at your ideal weight for all of eternity?

Have you always wanted to do liposuction, but were afraid of surgery? Allergic to anesthetics? Physical condition made you a poor surgery risk?
None of those would matter!

Think of the advantages for surgeons! No special operating rooms needed, no need for sterilization of instruments, no complaints from dissatisfied patients, no malpractice insurance....it would be a dream come true.

I can't believe nobody's thought of this before now! I'd pay for it. Wouldn't you?


Actually, I was thinking of going into the over sized cremation business myself. All I'd need is to have a huge oven built for the over 500 pounders and just charge about $100 more than the regular oven people do.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Wed 14 Jul, 2004 04:22 am
And I thought 'SuperSize Me' was pushing the envelope!
0 Replies
 
 

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