The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Do the math

Monday, 18 March 2013



Add all these up. What do you get? 

  • Phosphate 47.5%
  • Calcium 25.3%
  • Sulfate 11.00%
  • Potassium 3.69%
  • Sodium 1.12%
  • Chloride 1.00%
  • Silica 0.9%
  • Aluminum Oxide 0.72%
  • Magnesium 0.418%
  • Iron Oxide 0.118%
  • Zinc 0.0342%
  • Titanium Oxide 0.0260%
  • Barium 0.0066%
  • Antimony 0.0035%
  • Chromium 0.0018%
  • Copper 0.0017%
  • Manganese 0.0013%
  • Lead 0.0008%
  • Tin 0.0005%
  • Vanadium 0.0002%
  • Beryllium <0.0001%
  • Mercury <0.00001%

No, not Findus lasagne! 

10 comments on “Do the math

  1. Saturday 23rd March 2013 at 6:53 am

    The answer to some of the queries is explained in the preamble, which is quite good and succinct. I am thinking she used a mass spectrometer, but I may be talking nonsense, anyway this is the what she says:

    The results provided, with the exception of Phosphate and Sulfate, are presented as the
    element. However, in the body these elements are present as a part of a variety of organic
    and inorganic compounds. Upon cremation, most of the organic compounds are
    converted to the metal oxide. Depending on the conditions of cremation, some may also
    be converted to carbonates. The inorganic compounds may remain as phosphates,
    sulfates, chlorides or carbonates, or may be partially converted to oxides. The carbon
    from the carbonates and the oxygen from the oxides and carbonates are not included in
    the data presented. Those elements are not determined by the testing procedures used for
    this report.

    The precision of the testing procedure used is +/-10% of the reported value, i.e.
    Phosphate reported as 47.5% may be 42.8 to 52.2%

  2. Friday 22nd March 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Whoops! Should have done that. Here, Rich:

  3. Friday 22nd March 2013 at 8:07 pm

    More difficult that I thought, I know I keep asking questions as opposed to answering them but where is the Carbon, I always thought that it retained a small amount, otherwise how would the splendid Mike Kelly and the like be able to grow their diamonds…..? Charles – do you have the original source?

  4. Friday 22nd March 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Attaboy! Tell us what you find.

  5. Friday 22nd March 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Lots of metals, wonder if the quantities are significant? Surprising amount of sulphate too.Also wonder why it only total is circa 91% the small constituents can’t add to 100% can they? Also wonder what variance you get between people – fillings or residue from artificial limbs? Wonder how it compares to un-cremated bone. Wonder if this just the bone or the contents of the cremator?
    I might do some more digging on this – very interesting indeed.

  6. Jed

    Tuesday 19th March 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I’d be rather more alarmed if it was 110%…
    (As the youth of today – including George Osborne – seem to think is a higher percentage than 100 but I digress)

  7. Monday 18th March 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Cigar on its way, Richard.

    And one for you, Jed. I forgot to include seasoning.

  8. Jed

    Monday 18th March 2013 at 4:55 pm

    91.84271% of something…

    • Kitty

      Monday 18th March 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Jed – LOL

  9. Richard

    Monday 18th March 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Cremated remains! Like the picture.

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