COLUMBUS — An Ohio funeral home that is the first in the nation to use a cremation alternative that dissolves bodies with lye and heat has effectively been blocked from using the procedure by state regulators.
Edwards Funeral Service in Columbus is the only U.S. funeral business offering the procedure called alkaline hydrolysis to the public, according to a spokesman for the National Funeral Directors Association. The process is touted by proponents as being better for the environment than cremation. While funeral homes in other states are moving toward the method, Edwards' owner, Jeff Edwards, told the Columbus Dispatch that he has used the method on 19 bodies since January.
But a memo issued last week by the Ohio Department of Health has stopped the process, calling it "not an authorized form of disposition of a dead human body."