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Crematory Experts Available to Discuss Ebola Precautions

Wednesday, October 15, 2014   (0 Comments)
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WHEELING, Ill., Oct. 10, 2014-- In the wake of this week's news of the death of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan and his subsequent cremation, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is working with elected officials and ensuring crematory operators are prepared.

Mark Matthews, environmental advisor to the CANA Board and funeral director at Wiefels Cremation & Funeral Service in California, believes that "Ebola in the U.S. will be limited and contained." However, he is working with local elected officials to "walk through" several scenarios for IF the virus spreads and the crucial role crematory operators can play in the process to stop the spread.

"There are new precautions to consider around each corner," said Matthews. Most recently, it was about the need to cremate Duncan to ensure the virus was not spread further.

As you cover this evolving story, the experts of CANA are available to:

  • Talk about how crematory operators are working with government officials to protect the health of those who work in the industry, while also upholding the dignity of the person.
  • Answer questions about the cremation process. For example, cremation equipment works at 1,200 degrees to 1,800 degrees, which completely eliminates the virus.
  • Discuss the precautions crematories are taking, which includes having personal protective equipment such as Tyvex suits, gloves and masks on site.
  • Share statistics about the cremation rates in the U.S. and individual states.

If you have any questions, or would like to arrange an interview with Matthews, Robert Boetticher, Jr., president of the CANA Board, or Barbara Kemmis, CANA executive director, please feel free to email or call Lisa Soard at or 312-251-9929.

About the Cremation Association of North America

Founded in 1913, CANA is an international organization of more than 1,500 members, composed of cremationists, funeral directors, funeral home operators and owners, cemeterians, industry suppliers and consultants. To learn more about CANA visit