The discovery of hundreds of bodies at a Georgia crematorium is prompting a call for national regulation of the industry. Many states do not, but the state of Iowa does make crematoriums obtain a state license to operate. The Iowa rules were put in force back in 1996, and require yearly inspections by county health officials. The crematory in Georgia had not been inspected — its owner lobbied and got Georgia lawmakers to grant it an exemption from inspections. Iowa funeral homes are licensed, and those who do the embalming must be licensed, too, but those who run the burn chamber that incinerates bodies do not have to be licensed. The license is just for the business. State officials estimate there are less than 200 crematories in the state, but their business is growing as about 20 percent of people now choose cremation.
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