Environmental impacts.

Position:Burials - Modern funerals and cremation - Brief article

Modern funerals are resource-intensive. Bodies are typically embalmed in toxic formaldehyde; sealed in impervious, laminated wooden caskets (often derived from slow-growing trees); and then placed in lined graves or cement vaults.

Cremation is considered a more eco-friendly option, requiring less land for burial, but it's not without impact. Between 1975 and 2004, the share of Americans cremated grew from 6 percent to 31 percent. Today, there are more than 1,800 crematoriums nationwide, and some 200 new ones are built each year. These facilities require energy, typically from fossil fuels, and the incineration process releases dioxin and mercury (up to 6 grams per body). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that...

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