MPs Recommend Freeze-Drying The Dead - The Reykjavik Grapevine

MPs Recommend Freeze-Drying The Dead

Published March 7, 2011

Five members of parliament have submitted a bill that would legally permit corpses to be freeze-dried for environmental reasons.
According to Vísir, the reasoning of the bill points out that it can take a very long time for a human body to decay, due to the chemicals pumped into it for a standard burial, not to mention any particular metal parts the individual might have had in their body when they passed on.
Such a problem is taken care of with freeze-drying. In the process, first the body is cooled to about 18°C. Then the body, within a coffin, is dipped in liquid nitrogen, and placed upon a platform where it is shaken very hard. This shatters the corpse, breaking it down until it is nearly in powder form.
This powder then has a magnet passed over it, to remove any metal parts, leaving behind some five to 30 kilograms of powdered corpse, which can be placed in an “green” coffin made from potato or corn starch. The coffin and corpse powdered are utterly broken down in the earth within six to 12 months. Furthermore, by planting a tree over top of the burial site, the nutrients can feed its growth and help offset carbon dioxide pollution.
The five MPs who submitted the bill – Eygló Harðardóttir, Guðmundur Steingrímsson, Ólína Þorvarðardóttir, Mörður Árnason, Ólafur Þór Gunnarsson and Birgitta Jónsdóttir – represent every party except the conservatives.

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