Comparing Aquamation and Flame-based Cremation

In 1996, when the national cremation rate was 21.8%, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) turned its attention to regulating crematories. CANA and the US EPA formed a working group to examine scientific studies on emissions and make informed recommendations to federal environmental regulators.

By combining data and research from the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance (PLPA) and the Humane Society of the United States, the EPA estimates that 4,540,965 pets are cremated each year. This leads to nearly incalculable amounts of Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Sulfur Dioxide, and Mercury being released into the atmosphere. Globally, it is estimated that over 6.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere from fire cremation services.

In contrast, the environmental benefits of pet aquamation are significant. In place of a number of potentially climate-changing chemicals being released into the atmosphere, the process of alkaline hydrolysis releases only wastewater, mineral remains, and a marginally weak composition of amino acids, salts, and sugars. The wastewater can be disposed of through the local municipality’s drainage system or repurposed directly for fertilizing land.

In addition, the aquamation process uses approximately 90% less energy and, thus, electricity.