FAQ – Human Cremation

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» What is a human crematory?

A human crematory is a specialized unit where human bodies are being cremated. This unit can be part of a building or a separate building. Human cremation is a very old practice in the history of human kind, even though the first human crematory in Europe established as a unit assigned to this process appeared in England in 1878. In Romania the first cremations took place in 1928, once the Cenusa crematory in Bucharest was established.

» What does the regulatory framework in Romania specify regarding human cremation?

In Romania, like in many other countries cremation is considered to be an option of each citizen. Cremation has an equal status with entombment, from a legal point of view. The right to cremation is regulated in the New Civil Code (2011), article 80, regarding the Abidance of will of the deceased person: “(1) Each person can decide upon its own burial procedures and can decide on the handling of its body after death. In the case of those who lack legal competence or those who have limited legal competence it is also necessary the written consent of the parents or, where applicable, the tutors. (2) In the situation where the deceased person has not expressed a clear option, by order, it will be respected the will of the husband, parents, descendants, relatives found in collateral line up to the fourth degree inclusively, universal or residuary legatees or by the will of the mayor of the commune, town, city or the sector of Bucharest in which area took place the demise. By all means it will be taken into consideration the confessional affiliation of the deceased person.”

» How is the cremation realized?

Human cremation is realized only in specialized units, crematories, public or private. The human bodies are cremated individually, in rooms equipped adequately from a technological point of view, isolated and at very high temperatures so that the remains transform themselves into ash. To realize the cremation we use fuel and the bodies are placed in coffins made of combustible materials. Once the process is over, the foreign materials that did not burn (dental implants, plates, rods, etc.) are removed and the remains are being collected in an urn and left to cool down for a while. Due to the fact that the ash contains also elements with high granulation, it goes through a short crumbling process until it becomes dust. Afterwards it is placed in an urn and handed to the family, who decides whether to keep it as a memento or to spread it in nature, on the sea or mountain, or another special place.

» What are the necessary preparations for the cremation?

In order to realize the cremation it is important for the family to have all necessary documents that must comply with the legal terms of human cremation (described in the following paragraph). If the person carries items of jewelry (earrings, rings, piercings, etc.), they must be replaced before the body is cremated. If the person had a cardiac pacemaker or other similar components, it is necessary to have them removed because they may cause an explosion during the cremation process. The body that must be cremated should be placed in a coffin made of an easy inflammable material, but resistant enough to be handled by the crematory personnel.

» What are the necessary documents for cremation?

In order to realize the human cremation it is necessary for the family to obtain the following documents: Death certificate Cremation certificate Embalming certificate Sanitary permit for transportation (where applicable)

» How long does it take the cremation process?

The cremation process usually takes between 1-3 hours and depends upon factors such as the coffin texture where the body is placed, temperature, body weight, etc.

» What remains after cremation?

After the cremation process the remains have the form of a white paste, which is left to cool down then it goes through a technological process that diminishes the granulation until it becomes ash. The ash is collected in an urn and handed to the family.

» How is the ash obtained from cremation stored?

The ash is collected in an urn and handed to the family. The family has the possibility to store the urn in a place specially arranged, such is the case of big cities where there are columbariums, or they can choose to keep the urn at home. Another option is to spread the ash in nature, on the sea or mountain, or another special place.

» Does the ash obtained from cremation present health risks?

Human ash does not present any health risk because the cremation process undergoes very high temperatures.

» Cremation vs. entombment

The option whether to be cremated or entombed belongs to each person, especially if the person clearly expressed this will during lifetime, or its family. Strictly from a financial point of view, the cremation process is cheaper than the entombment one (approximately 3 times cheaper), given the low number of burial places, the costs of arranging and maintaining the graves, the traditional customs, etc.

» Can the family be present at the cremation process?

If this is their wish, the family can be present at the cremation process.

» How do we explain the cremation process to a child?

It is always difficult to explain the little ones the fact that a loved one has died. In such cases it is better to try not to avoid the subject too much and maintain the explanation as much as possible close to reality. Even though they are little, children are clever and it is better to tell them the truth rather than lie to them. If your religious belief allows you, explain the child the fact that the spirit left the body and went to heaven, from where he looks down to earth, and that the body does not represent the true essence of the person in cause. If you wish, you can turn to the specialized services of a psychologist in order to explain the child this situation.

» Where can be found more information regarding the human cremation?


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FAQ about Human Cremation