Dead Uncle Henry Coming Back to Get You
March 25, 2004 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Research on civil war era embalming techniques up until the 1900's shows that arsenic, a primary component of embalming solutions, is leaching into our groundwater. Do you live near a cemetery?
posted by crawdad (9 comments total)
Whoa. Living in Oregon Hill in Richmond, VA might not be such a great idea.
posted by machaus at 11:46 AM on March 25, 2004

Whoa. Living in Oregon Hill in Richmond, VA might not be such a great idea.

Because of the lack of OSX boot cds? What am I missing?
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:33 PM on March 25, 2004

Uncomfirmed reports suggests that a small but vocal group who opposed using arsenic were dismissed as "environmental wackos" and run out of town wearing tar and feathers.
posted by 2sheets at 12:40 PM on March 25, 2004

ha ha, wrong link
posted by machaus at 12:59 PM on March 25, 2004

many civil war dead buried here without OSX boot CDs.
posted by machaus at 1:00 PM on March 25, 2004

arsenic embalming acutally continued to be used on "regular" dead people in cemeteries all over the US. Usually this practice was concentrated near larger cities. so there are literally hundreds of thousands of arsenic embalmed bodies just "lying around"
posted by crawdad at 1:25 PM on March 25, 2004

Good idea to have well water tested no matter when you are since ground water seeps from anywhere and many cemeteries disappear with time.
posted by stbalbach at 2:16 PM on March 25, 2004

See, this is one of those times when we *should* take something from the spooky dystopian books. To wit, the crematory in Brave New World, which recovers all the usable bits of a human and recycles them. We should have that. I'll even go so far as to suggest that it should be mandatory.

There's just no reason to go burying dead things. I mean, if there were no chemicals, and people used wooden boxes so they would decompose and be eaten by worms...sure, give back to the planet, rock on. But embalming and airtight coffins to keep worms at bay means a body is just taking up space.

I say, create a system recapture system and then dig em all up and burn em.

Besides, it'll stop the zombie problem.
posted by dejah420 at 2:22 PM on March 25, 2004

Besides, it'll stop the zombie problem

Nah, all the zombie ashes will pile up in the corner until they're big enough, and then they'll get rained on by radioactive acid rain and turn into a big wet grey goopy Pizza the Hutt that oozes its way towards Schenectady and REVENGE!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:47 PM on March 25, 2004

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