Are Cremated Ashes a Health Hazard?

Rick Fraser
Submitted by UrnAdmin on Tue, 11/15/2016 - 16:10

As cremation rises in popularity, some people wonder if the ashes are safe to keep in their homes. The truth is that they are. Once the body is cremated, all that remains are materials that are natural to the body and safe for human contact. With knowledge of the makeup of cremated ashes and how those remains are made, you can rest easy with the understanding that human ashes do not pose a health hazard to you or your family.

Are the Components in Ashes Safe?

At the end of the cremation process, all that is left of the body is almost entirely tri-calcium phosphate, the primary component of bone. There are trace amounts of minerals that are also present, depending on the person’s surroundings and their exposure to certain things over a lifetime. These minerals include sodium and potassium, which are naturally found in the human environment. Since the components of the ashes are naturally occurring and generally regarded as safe, you may maintain them in your home without worry.

How Are Cremated Remains Made?

The human body is made up of many different components, but primarily water and carbon. During the cremation process, the body is placed in a device that heats it up to a very high temperature. The water in the body evaporates and the carbon is emitted as exhaust. What is left is largely bone and small amounts of minerals. The bones are pulverized until no large pieces of bone remain, and the ashes appear a great deal like sand. Any metal pieces that are left, that may have come from tooth fillings, implants, or coffin fittings, are removed before the ashes are collected and given to the family.

Although the idea of cremation may be a new concept for you or your family, you do not need to be afraid of the consequences of storing human ashes. You may select an urn that meets your needs and put the ashes inside, secure in the knowledge that your loved one has found a safe and final resting place.