How do funeral homes control their odors?
December 17, 2007 9:27 AM Subscribe
This question is morbid, but I've always wanted the answer. How on earth do funeral parlors (especially those that do cremation) operate in neighborhoods or right next to them without smelling horrible?
posted by mathowie to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've long heard from WWII accounts that things like the nazi atrocities produced the "smell of death" from burning bodies. I've been around friends that had long hair fall into a candle at a party, and even on that extreme small scale, the smell was horrendous and stuck around all night in a large space. People came to the party two hours later and said "did someone burn hair in here?!"
A few years ago, I had a small office right next to a funeral parlor, right on the edge of a normal suburban neighborhood. I'm pretty sure they did cremations, but I never smelled anything unusual.
I understand how air pollution controls work, how smokestacks can have scrubbers and activated carbon filters to trap organics that can cause awful smells, but how do small family-owned funeral parlors do it without spreading the "smell of death"?
Are cremations done off-site? (if so, how do they control smell?) If done in funeral homes, do they just have amazing equipment for limiting the combustion smell?