The Lies Of Embalming Essay

892 words - 4 pages

People who are grieving over the loss of a loved one are being taken advantage of because they are coerced into spending extra money by the funeral industry. The embalming process poses health and environmental concerns to those who handle the chemicals that are used in the process. There are alternative to embalming that are less costly and more environmentally friendly. Embalming is a complicated process where many Canadians will make extraordinary amounts of money for the loved ones who have passed away to be buried and put into a place of rest.
Coercion and Deceit
During a time of distress and duress, many family members make decisions which are often hasty. The funeral industry takes advantage of those who are grieving by telling family members that embalming is necessary. The undertaker uses the argument that the corpse needs to be preserved in order for it to be presentable. The funeral director often decides to embalm the corpse without permission from the person who passed away or any of his family members (Mitford, 2005). After everything has finished, the total bill for the funeral service is often more then what was told initially and the family is left with an enormous bill. People want to have the body to be presentable at the funeral; therefore, they are coerced into paying extra to promote the growth of the undertaking industry (Mitford, 1998).
Hazardous Chemicals
The chemicals used in the embalming process will cause many health and environmental problems for those who handle the solvents. Formaldehyde, glycerin, borax, phenol, alcohol, and water are the typical ingredients of embalming fluid (Mitford, 2005). Many of these chemicals are corrosive and are carcinogens that absorb into the skin of the handler. With the prolonged exposure to these chemicals, it will lead to many forms of cancers and other respiratory disorders when inhaled. Modern funeral homes now tend to have the look and feel of a hospital operating room (Mitford, 2005). This is also mentioned in Colman’s book. The blood and other bodily fluids are taken out and are allowed to flow into the floor drain into a storage receptacle (Colman, 1997). There are many funeral homes that are old and they are suffering disrepair. Underneath the tile floor, there may be floors that have cracks in the tile and corroding pipes. The fluids will leak from the receptacle that will eventually leak, causing seepage into the sewer and ground water system. The person handling the body is not the only one that may suffer from the harsh chemicals from the embalming fluids. The same will also occur in the casket where the corpse is...

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