Alkaline hydrolysis ('water cremation') regulation in Scotland

A Scottish Government consultation on the regulation of alkaline hydrolysis (‘water cremation’) as a method of body disposal in Scotland.

Health and safety of alkaline hydrolysis

61. Alkaline hydrolysis requires the storage, use and disposal of the chemicals used in the process. We have been informed by a manufacturer that the equipment itself has many safety measures built in. It would be for those proposing to offer alkaline hydrolysis to undertake a thorough risk assessment in line with health and safety legislation.

62. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the UK. As is the case with any business, any company seeking to offer alkaline hydrolysis would be required to comply with the 1974 Act, and would be subject to regulation by the Health and Safety Executive.

63. Current manufacturers have stated that the liquid is collected, treated and released without any contact by the operator. The operator has no requirement to be in contact with the liquid prior to PH reduction in a sealed tank.

64. The report by The Health Council of Netherlands described an odour as a result of the alkaline hydrolysis process as being persistent and unpleasant. However, a study by Yorkshire Water, in which five processes were carried out in 2019 in Sheffield did not mention any odour issues.



Back to top