Burning incense and candles for long has been a part of religious ceremonies and rituals in Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and other major religions of the world. The pleasant aroma emanating from the smoldering incense sticks might send you into a state of ecstasy and trigger the spiritual mood in you but did you know that it causes the release of some harmful pollutants that is hazardous to your health?
According to a study in
, burning incense exposes people to dangerous levels of smoke laden with cancer-causing chemicals. Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) called benzopyrene, which is thought to cause lung cancer in smokers, was found in very high quantities inside a badly ventilated temple in Taiwan . BBC Health reports from the findings of the researchers at Taiwan : Respiratory health is increasingly at risk from so-called "indoor pollution" in the home, workplace and other enclosed spaces. Church air, with the long hours of candles and incense burning was found to be considerably higher in carcinogenic polycyclic hydrocarbons than air beside roads travelled by 45,000 vehicles daily. December, with churches lighting up candles for Christmas, could be an especially dangerous month for the lungs. While the delightful smell from a burning scented candle could tickle your olfactory nerves, it could also spell big trouble in terms of your health. A Florida study reveals that soot particles from scented candle burning not only causes ugly blemishes around the home but also poses health risks. Maastricht University, Netherlands
So if you just can’t do without burning incense or candles at home, either for religious reasons or for masking household odors and unpleasant stench, at least ensure that there is proper ventilation for free circulation of fresh air by keeping the windows and doors open at that time. Even sprays or air fresheners are not safe, so don’t even bother to use them, they could raise your risk of getting asthma.
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