SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– A bill currently awaiting Governor Parson’s signature would make Missouri the first state to allow outdoor cremations.
If Parsons signs off on the bill, licensed funeral directors would be allowed to organize outdoor cremation, either at licensed crematoriums or private sites that receive permits.
It’s important to note the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association said this bill would not make it legal for a family to conduct their own cremation service.
If signed into law the family or individual wanting to cremate their loved one outdoors would have several regulations to follow.
- First, the person would have to obtain a permit to have the outdoor cremation.
- The person would then have to prove no health or safety regulations would be violated if granted the permit.
- Finally, a person would need to find a licensed funeral director willing to help with the service.
Pulmonologist for Mercy Health, Dr. Sadaf Sohrab, said the location of the burning site will play into potential health concerns for the surrounding community.
“British scientist Dr. Ivan Fence who looked at different gases that are emitted from a cremation site,” Shorab said Monday. “And he found that once you’re five meters or so away from the site then the concentration of gases and the particulate matter actually go down and don’t pose a huge health risk. The health of the people who are involved in the process of doing the cremations is also very important. Because it could potentially affect their lungs as well.”
A small town outside of Denver is currently the only place in the country where outdoor cremations are legal.