My grandfather's cremated bones were stained green by chemotherapy

My grandfather, who had stomach cancer, died and was cremated, and some of his bones were stained green (after cremation). We were told that it was the effect of chemotherapy.

Has anyone seen something like this, and what exactly was the chemotherapy doing specifically to cause this staining? And what would the color have been prior to the intense heat of the oven (I’m assuming the heat also changed the color of the stains?)

I’m a pharmacist and have never heard of this! I do know that some radiopharmaceuticals can make the bones slightly radioactive (Metastron is the first that comes to mind) but those are rarely used and I wouldn’t have handled them anyway. That might make them fluoresce, but turn green? The only green (as in the color, not the woo philosophy) chemo drug I can recall is Mustargen, and that’s used almost exclusively for leukemia and lymphoma, and I don’t recall it staining tissues or bodily discharges.

How bright was the green color?

BTW, I Googled “green chemotherapy” and a few other phrases, and all I got were links to the OP and a lot of crunchy granola websites.

Fairly bright green, like taking white bones and rubbing green grass over them so they have grass juice stains. Only parts of some bones were stained.

Soylent Green is people!

Don’t they usually pulverize the bones after cremation? I’ve never heard of someone getting back a set of intact bones.

A lot of the bones/bone fragments weren’t pulverized yet. They were partially intact. (This was in Taiwan, so maybe procedures are different.)

Who told you that the color was the result of the chemo?

The only green color I can imagine would be a copper salt. I think we can exclude chlorophyll.

If the story came from the crematorium, they may be trying to divert attention from something they did which caused the discoloration.

How long was the chemo therapy, and what time was there between the therapy and death?

Maybe Taiwan uses some copper-based chemo agents, or somebody at the crematorium screwed up, and they came up with this story to cover their ass.

Huh, looks like it can happen (PDF):

Perhaps Thai crematories use different heat/duration from those in the US, or include contact with iron.

[sub]OK, now I have a mental picture of a really big cast iron skillet…[/sub]

And in The Netherlands, they use a Dutch oven.

I’ll go to Hell now.

And everyone splits the cost.

Crematorium worker, when we asked him about the green stains.

It’s very possible the worker didn’t know about my grandfather’s cancer or chemotherapy, which would prevent him from using chemo as an excuse (in case the deceased never had cancer/chemo).

I think several months of chemo, and maybe 6-9 months from chemo to death. Not too knowledgeable about his medical treatment/history.

Wouldn’t it be possible that his ashes got mixed around with something else in the oven like maybe some metal residue or something.

If not that I would say maybe exposure to something in his environment during his lifetime like copper or iron. This forensics pdf I found mentions that when bodies are burned intact, the soft tissues help to preserve some colorations in the bones that might otherwise not be preserved.