<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
RULE §203.32Requirements Relating to Embalming

(a) In order to ensure the maximum inhibition of pathogenic organisms in the dead human body, the following minimum standards of performance shall be required of each licensed embalmer in the State of Texas in each instance in which he or she is authorized or required to embalm a dead human body.

  (1) Embalming shall be performed only by embalmers licensed by the Commission, in properly equipped and licensed establishments, or in the event of a disaster of major proportions, in facilities designated by a Medical Examiner, Coroner, or state health official. Only three types of people may under certain circumstances assist licensed embalmers in embalming: provisional licensed embalmers under the personal supervision of a licensed embalmer; students who are enrolled in an accredited school of mortuary science working on a case intended toward completion of the student's clinical requirements, under the personal supervision of a licensed embalmer and with written permission to assist the embalmer from a family member or the person responsible for making arrangements for final disposition; and, in the event of a disaster of major proportions and with the prior approval of the Executive Director, embalmers licensed in another state as long as they are working with or under the general supervision of a person licensed as an embalmer in this state.

  (2) Embalmers are required to utilize all personal protective equipment required by either OSHA or its corresponding state agency during the embalming procedure.

  (3) Clothing and/or personal effects of the decedent shall either be disinfected before delivery to any person or discarded in a manner consistent with the disposal of biohazardous material.

  (4) The technique utilized to effect eye, mouth, and lip closure shall be any technique accepted as standard in the profession. Regardless of the technique chosen, the embalmer shall be required to achieve the best results possible under prevailing conditions.

  (5) The entire body may be thoroughly cleaned before arterial injection and shall be cleaned immediately after the embalming procedure with an antiseptic soap or detergent.

  (6) Body orifices (nostrils, mouth, anus, vagina, ear canals, and urethra) open lesions, and other surgical incisions shall be treated with appropriate topical disinfectants either before or immediately after arterial injection. After cavity treatment has been completed, body orifices shall be packed in cotton saturated with a suitable disinfectant of a phenol coefficient not less than one in cases where purge is evident or is likely to occur and/or when the body is to be transported out of state or by common carrier.

  (7) The arterial fluid to be injected shall be one commercially prepared and marketed with its percent of formaldehyde, or other approved substance, by volume (index) clearly marked on the label or in printed material supplied by the manufacturer.

  (8) The fluids selected shall be injected into all bodies in such dilutions and at such pressures as the professional experience of the embalmer shall indicate, except that in no instance shall dilute solution contain less than 1.0% formaldehyde, or an approved substance that acts the same as formaldehyde, and as the professional experience of the embalmer indicates, one gallon of dilute solution shall be used for each 50 pounds of body weight. Computation of solution strength is as follows: C x V = C' x V', where C = strength of concentrated fluid, V = volume of ounces of concentrated fluid, C' = strength of dilute fluid, and V' = volume of ounces of dilute fluid

  (9) Abdominal and thoracic cavities shall be treated in the following manner.

    (A) Liquid, semi-solid, and gaseous contents which can be withdrawn through a trocar shall be aspirated by the use of the highest vacuum pressure attainable.

    (B) Concentrated, commercially prepared cavity fluid which is acidic in nature (6.5 pH or lower) and contains at least two preservative chemicals shall be injected and evenly distributed throughout the aspirated cavities. A minimum of 16 ounces of concentrated cavity fluid shall be used in any embalming case in which a minimum of two gallons of arterial solution has been injected.

    (C) Should distension and/or purge occur after treatment, aspiration and injection as required shall be repeated as necessary.

  (10) The embalmer shall be required to check each body thoroughly after treatment has been completed. Any area not adequately disinfected by arterial and/or cavity treatment shall be injected hypodermically with disinfectant and preservative fluid of maximum results. A disinfectant and preservative medium shall be applied topically in those cases which require further treatment.

  (11) On bodies in which the arterial circulation is incomplete or impaired by advance decomposition, burns, trauma, autopsy, or any other cause, the embalmer shall be required to use the hypodermic method to inject all areas which cannot be properly treated through whatever arterial circulation remains intact (if any).

  (12) In the event that the procedures in paragraphs (1) - (11) of this subsection leave a dead human body in condition to constitute a high risk of infection to anyone handling the body, the embalmer shall be required to apply to the exterior of the body an appropriate embalming medium in powder or gel form and to enclose the body in a zippered plastic or rubber pouch prior to burial or other disposal.

  (13) Dead human bodies donated to the State Anatomical Board shall be embalmed as required by the State Anatomical Board and where conflicting requirements exist, those requirements of the State Anatomical Board shall prevail.

  (14) All bodies should be treated in such manner and maintained in such an atmosphere as to avoid infestation by vermin, maggots, ants, and other insects; however, should these conditions occur, the body should be treated with an effective vermicide and/or insecticide to eliminate these conditions.

  (15) No licensed establishment or licensed embalmer shall take into its or the embalmer's care any dead human body for embalming without exerting every professional effort, and employing every possible technique or chemical, to achieve the highest level of disinfecting.

  (16) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to prohibit the use of supplemental or additional procedures or chemicals which are known to and accepted in the funeral service profession and which are not specifically mentioned in this subsection.

(b) Minor variations in these procedures shall be permitted as long as they do not compromise the purpose of this rule as stated in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) All embalming case reports must contain, at a minimum, all the information on the case-report form promulgated by the Commission. Funeral establishments may use other forms, so long as the forms contain all the information on the promulgated form. A case report shall be completed for each embalming procedure not later than the date of disposition of the body which was embalmed. The embalmer shall ensure that all information contained in the case report is correct and legible. The completed form shall be retained for two years following the procedure date. The embalming case report must be completed and signed by the licensed embalmer who performed the embalming procedure.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to require embalming if a family member or the person responsible for making arrangements for final disposition does not authorize embalming.

Source Note: The provisions of this §203.32 adopted to be effective October 18, 2015, 40 TexReg 7069; amended to be effective October 3, 2019, 44 TexReg 5625

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page