Why do crematoriums in Mérida “give off” a strange smell?

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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of crematoria has been increasing.

MÉRIDA Yucatan.- If you have ever wondered why strange smells are felt in the surroundings of the city’s crematoriums, this is because the bodies are cremated with almost six kilograms of clothing and bags that generate that aroma.

The ovens have generated disagreement since their creation and not exclusively due to the pandemic, says Alejandro Espadas, president of the Yucatan Business Association.

To prevent the spread of Covid-19 through corpses, the Federal Ministry of Health instructed in April 2020 to incinerate bodies related to the death of coronavirus with the exception of two specific cases.

Since July 22, 2020, the Government of Yucatan decreed that those who have lost a relative due to coronavirus should not pay fees for death records, transfers of remains, or cremation services. 

Increase the use of crematoria (Photo: File / SIPSE)

Crematory services increased

In Yucatán these provisions raised crematorium services to 200 percent.

“In past years, 30 percent of the population was cremated and this year 70 percent of the population was cremated as a result of the pandemic, it grew exponentially,” explains the leader of the funeral entrepreneurs.

For the businessman, in Yucatán, there was no saturation of crematoriums despite the increase in deaths from Covid-19.

In July and August 2020 they registered higher demand for services. In 2021 the average of deaths and daily services are between 10 and 12 a day for the 13 crematorium ovens that Yucatan has.

Most of Mérida’s crematoriums are located on the urban periphery.

The protocols include incinerating the plastic bags for the transfer of the body “and since they are textile products they give off a lot of smoke so that is what is generating excessive smoke in some crematoriums.”

It is not the corpse or the number of bodies, we are cremating between five to six kilos of textiles – adds the manager.

cremations merida yucatan

No incidents have been recorded

For the Yucatan Health Secretariat, the issue of crematoria has been handled correctly during the pandemic and no major incidents have been reported.

The body that carries out health surveillance in compliance with the Official Regulations in force is the Directorate for Protection Against Health Risks, an instance that guarantees that the commercial practices inherent to the provision of this service are carried out in adequate sanitary conditions, both in the premises, equipment, and that staff are trained.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, crematorium services in Yucatan doubled and although the coronavirus has already left thousands of deaths in the Yucatan, the capacity of these ovens has not been exceeded.

An average of 27 kilos of carbon dioxide, carbon oxides, dioxins and other metals are thrown into the atmosphere with each body in cremation, according to the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemicals of the Higher Council for Scientific Research.

When can it not be cremated?

  1. When the deceased has not been identified.
  2. That the deceased has been identified, but has not claimed by a relative.

Source: sipse.com

The Yucatan Post