Cemeteries are sacred resting places for loved ones and sources of solace and comfort to the living who come to remember and grieve. Cemetery businesses protect visitors and employees with effective risk management plans. Tailored insurance plans include mitigation measures to target vulnerabilities, including cemetery contamination risks.

The uncomfortable reality is that burials affect cemetery grounds. As bodies decompose, they release water, organic matter, salts, and ammoniacal nitrogen into the property. The degradation leads to ground pollution and may contaminate groundwater in the surrounding landscape.

Ground pollution and cemetery contamination risks include:

1. Groundwater Pollution

Contamination occurs when pollutants are released into the groundwater. Products such as oil, salts and chemicals create poisonous groundwater conditions.

2. Coffin Decomposition

Varnishes, preservatives, sealers and metals used in the manufacture of coffins degrade and release toxins into the surrounding soil.

3. Formaldehyde Waste

Formaldehyde has been classified as hazardous waste by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, the funeral industry legally utilizes formaldehyde as an embalming substance to delay the decomposition of the body. After burial, formaldehyde disintegrates and releases harmful chemicals into the ground.  Other formaldehyde risks include mortuary workers’ exposure to the chemical.

Cemeteries are powerful and solemn reminders of the human condition. Cemetery insurance programs are developed by experts committed to protecting the integrity and mission of cemetery professionals. Cemetery businesses can avoid major legal issues as well as cemetery contamination risks with a specialized insurance and cemetery risk management plan.

3 Ground Pollution Risks for Cemetery Businesses