I See Dead People
Tonkin- TJ conmigo Gavin
Back in the day all of the internal organs would be removed, so as to prevent decay of these said organs. Most of the removed body parts were kept in jars. The incision by which the organs were removed was covered in wax to seal it up and make it less noticeable. Afterwards a chemical called "natron" , which consisted of sodium chloride, sodium sulfate, and sodium carbonate, and sodium and potassium nitrate, was applied to the body to preserve what was left.
Next cedar oil was injected into the anus and the anus was stoppered to cause dehydration of the body. After a decent period of time the anus was unstoppered and the oil was drained. Thus completing the embalming process.
A more simple way of preserving the body was used by ancient Persians. They would submerge the body into jars of honey and wax in order to prevent damaging air from coming into contact with the body.
Leonardo DaVinci(1452-1519) used a method of venus injection, to preserve the cadavers he was studying. The embalming fluids he used involved turpentine, camphor, lavender oil, vermilion, wine, rosin, and saltpeter.
Laws prohibiting the use of metal salts in embalming were passed. Thus, formaldehyde was born. It became the compound of choice and is still used often today when embalming. There are several reasons as to why formaldehyde is such a popular embalming agent. These include the fact that it is cheap to produce, availability, and ease of use.
The way formaldehyde preserves the body, is by forming cross-links in the proteins of the body to create a solid, stable entity. The formaldehyde molecule is quite small which also aides in rapid absorption into the cells.
Formaldehyde is believed to cause many averse side effects when exposed to it for a long period of time. some of these are "occupational asthma" and contact dermatitis.
There have been many attempts to find a replacement embalming fluid for formaldehyde. although one has been found, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde is still the embalming fluid of choice in the U.S.