Major Airlines Adopt Use of Lightweight, High-Tech Containment Bags for Transporting Bodies and Human Remains
BioSeal Systems in San Diego has recently helped secure permission by several major airlines to transport non-embalmed human remains in its patented, lightweight material used in making body bags. Until recently, airline regulations largely required that remains be shipped in heavier, more expensive Ziegler cases. The development affords the death community around the world with a more affordable option.
McWilliams’ San Diego company, BioSeal Systems, sells revolutionary air-tight containment systems for human remains handled by funeral directors, coroners, law enforcement personnel and disaster-response organizations. Though until recently, shipping remains by air has been met with some complicated requirements. In the past, airlines required that all un-embalmed remains be shipped in heavy Ziegler cases, which cost about $200 a piece.
McWilliams, however, has successfully provided a groundbreaking, light-weight alternative that was recently approved by American Airlines and Southwest. Other carries such as Continental and US Air began allowing the BioSeal System into their cargos in just the past few years.
Using a proprietary, laminated poly-foil-poly material, the heat-sealed “containers” come at a fraction of the cost compared to standard Ziegler cases. They also adhere fully to infectious control requirements by completely sealing in odors, gases and fluids while preserving the integrity of DNA in decomposed remains. In addition, the U.S. military has certified BioSeal Systems’ ability to hold and contain bioterror chemical agents in case of an attack.
McWilliams secured the airlines’ permissions through partnerships with Eagle’s Wings Air and Global Mortuary Logistics, thus simplifying and expediting air transfers of un-embalmed remains from one location to another.
“It’s an important milestone in the death-care community, especially in cases where certain cultures do not permit embalming,” notes McWilliams.
Another advantage to the airlines’ approval of the total containment bags is that they provide increased safety to tarmac and cargo workers across the globe. Families, in the meantime, “are assured that all will go well for their loved ones,” McWilliams adds. Since BioSeal Systems was launched and patented in 1997, the company sells a capacity of material for 50,000 “pouches” a year. It has provided the product for victims of hurricanes Floyd and Katrina; the 911 terrorist attacks; the Asian tsunami in 2004; and the Haiti earthquake in 2010. And through mortuary personnel, the containment bags are sold also to families anywhere in the world that have lost loved ones.
To arrange an interview with McWilliams or obtain photos of the BioSeal System, please call 619-925-3794 or 858-569-9868.