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Do bodies decompose faster in mausoleums?


Is it true that bodies decompose faster in mausoleums than below ground? It is also true that a sealed casket can explode from gases caused by anerobic bacteria? Is it possible for two people to share the same mausoleum interment place without odor at interrment being a problem?

A Mausoleum is very different than ground burial in terms of what happens to the remains. In an ideal situation, where an unsealed casket is placed in a mausoleum crypt, a slow drying process occurs as moist air is continually drawn away from the body. Eventually what is left would be a somewhat dehydrated form of the remains. If it is a "sealed" or gasketed casket, you are simply placing the casket in a totally dry environment, so you do not have the effects of moisture acting against the casket as you might in an earthen burial without a sealed vault. I have never personally encountered any odor problem during a second entombment of a casket in a mausoleum crypt. I have long since learned you never say never, but I would say that a problem would be highly unlikely.

No matter what the type of disposition of the casket, embalming is not going to guarantee that there is no decomposition. Embalming is a process of temporary preservation. The nature of the person's illness prior to death, the humidity one the day of burial, the protective or non protective nature of the casket and vault and the rainfall, temperature and soil drainage in the cemetery are all factors in decomposition.

With regard to exploding caskets: this is something that would not happen with modern casket design. Most metal Protective caskets are designed today with a "protective gasket." This gasket allows air (or gas) to escape from the casket but does not allow air or the elements to enter the casket. If the casket were "sealed" in such away as to not allow gases to escape, the casket might show signs of internal gas pressure, but the major manufacturers in the US no longer build such caskets for generally distribution.

-- Steve Moeller

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