SARASOTA, Fla. - Earlier this week, a man spreading the ashes of his fiancé prompted the shutdown of a Westfield Southgate Mall until authorities were able to determine the powdery substance was not hazardous.
ABC 7 contacted funeral director Jeff Probst of Toale Brothers Funeral Home for some guidance on were it is and is not acceptable to spread cremated remains.
According to Probst, 50% of the funeral procedures in the Florida are cremations and he tells ABC 7 many people are interested in spreading loved ones ashes over water. He says according to federal law, spreading of ashes can only occur three nautical miles from land.
“What folks do privately, obviously is just that, but when we are asked to place in the water in the gulf, federal regulations dictate that we go out beyond the three mile limit which is what we observe.”
Probst says in order to spread ashes on any private property one needs permission from the property owner. “Some times we are asked, oh this person was a great golfer; can we scatter the cremated remains at the golf course? Well, no, you really can’t. You would have to have permission to do that,” said Probst.
Toale Brothers provide their clients many choices in urns. They have every thing from wooden urns, to water soluble, to decorative and keepsake urns.
Probst tells ABC 7 the cremated remains can also be buried in the urn at a traditional cemetery. He also says many churches allow parishioners to spread loved ones ashes in memorial gardens.