What Happens to Medical Implants When Owners Get Cremated?
Feb 22, 2012 13:19
Medical advances these days include a flurry of other things that aren't flesh and bone in us. We've got artificial knees, titanium plates, pacemakers and many more. What happens to them when their owners are cremated?
A report by the BBC offers some reassuring news. The metal doesn't go to waste, and there's a booming business in recylcing the implants that get left behind when corpses make their way into the incinerator.
Ruud Verberne of OrthoMetals explains to BBC that his company deals with everything from titanium hips to cobalt chrome knees. His company has since inspired five or six others to start up in the US. Before he came about, implants used to be buried. Now they're collected from the crematorium and sorted from the ash and melted down.
Verbeme's company deals with 250 tons of metal from cremations every year, much of which makes its way into cars, planes and even wind turbines.