The origins of embalming can be traced to Egyptian civilization. In the United States, embalming became common during the Civil War.
Embalming is a process which replaces blood with specialty formaldehyde products called embalming fluid.
There is no set time for the embalming process as embalmers differ. A time estimate of embalming a ‘normal’ human remains is between 1 ˝ to 2 ˝ hours.
Embalming is not an exact science. Results may vary based on cause of death, cemetery conditions and type of casket used.
Embalming may be mandatory for certain causes of death, or may be necessary because of the length of time between death and final disposition. Laws about embalming vary from state to state.
Yes, the Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule specifies the consumer must be given the choice for embalming or declination of embalming. However, your right to decline embalming may depend upon certain time lines, or state laws.
In many instances embalming is not necessary for cremation. If you choose a ceremony with visitation followed by cremation, embalming may be necessary depending upon time lines.
Embalming should not detrimentally affect the remains. The embalmer can enhance remains that have suffered from trauma or lengthy illness.
Access to preparation rooms is strictly limited to qualified persons.
An embalmer must attend mortuary school, take national and state exams and serve an apprenticeship.
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Last modified: 12/31/09