My guess is that this study merely verified "hat any cemeterian and most funeral directors already know: Embalmed or not, dead bodies decompose to one degree or another. And a sealed casket creates a smelly stew."
Thanks for posting the link Lisa. I remember it from a few years back. The very last paragraph sums it all up in one nice package. Thanks again.
But you can't convince the consumer that is true. The very idea is abhorrent to people who have been convinced that sealing one up tight will be the best thing to do. Even funeral directors resist leaving the casket open.
Just last year, I had a round with a funeral director who owns a cemetery with a mausoleum and insisted that the casket must be tightly sealed.
This might be an "urban legend" but I'll ask anyway. I have been told that when the loved one is interred above ground the seal is broken on the casket. This is done by the cemetery staff and the waiting ones are not aware of this happening. If the family knew the truth about what happens inside a sealed casket they would not have it sealed in the first place. Thanks LD.
Most cemetery folks I've talked with about the need to have the casket unsealed don't have a clue what I'm talking about, But, those who have experienced a problem with leakage from the mausoleum crypt know what i'm talking about.
The best practice, especially in warm climates, is to not only not engage the "seal", but to also prop open the lid by two to three inches to allow better ciculation of air. This allows moisture from the body's liquification to be wafted away, rather than remaining in the casket and the acidic properties eroding the casket seams until that gunk seeps out into the crypt and possibly runs out the front, where it becomes visible to passersby.
Also, gases generated will waft away and not build up inside a locked casket and explode.
Mention this to some funeral directors and they are horrified at the prospect of not sealing the casket, after they have sold the family on the virtues of a "protective" casket.
Cemetery people, even if they do allow the casket to be unsealed, will not mention that to the family because they have sold the crypt on the promise that this will provide a clean and dry environment for the loved one's body.