27 January 2019

The importance of airholes in a casket

"...a minimum of twenty 2-inch (5 cm) holes be drilled into the casket to facilitate rapid flooding and venting of air. The holes should be evenly spaced on the top (8 holes), bottom (8 holes) and head and foot ends (2 holes each) of the casket. The holes may be covered with a porous material like cloth or paper so that the remains are not visible, as long as plastic-containing adhesives like tape are not used..."
Additional guidelines at the EPA webpage with guidelines for burial at sea.  What is interesting to me is that burial at sea is permitted for anyone - not just naval/military personnel - and it need not involve a casket:
If no casket is used, EPA recommends wrapping a natural fiber shroud or sail cloth around the body and adding additional weight, such as a steel chain, to aid in rapid sinking.
You just have to go three miles offshore and follow the other guidelines (no wreaths etc, no pets, no burning Viking boat) at the link.

If anyone is looking for an inexpensive alternative to a traditional burial, this is worth considering.


  1. Then there's this: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/washington-could-become-first-state-legalize-human-composting-n952421

    1. I had heard of alkaline hydrolysis, but didn't know about the composting and that it can be done with farm animals -
      Thanks for the link, Nora.

    2. Back in the early 70's, one of the first recycling places I ever went to was named, allegedly, after "the first woman to request in her will that her body be composted". It's been a long time coming. And it makes great sense for farm animals too! Fascinating.

  2. No burning Viking boat? But what other way is there?

    Seriously though, this is cool information. Thanks!

  3. The link takes one to the EPA webpage, which states which activities are not allowed, one of which is the placement of artificial reefs !
    So, artificial wreaths are fine, just none of those plasticy coral things.

  4. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/bodies-dissolved-sewers-smiths-falls-funeral-1.3635063

    Near Ottawa you can get dissolved and flushed into the sewers!

  5. Would you rather be buried, cremated, left for scavengers, or fed to alligators?


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