Burning incense stick health effects and how to prevent them

Burning Incense Sticks: Health Effects and How to Prevent Them

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year or also known as Spring Festival is just around the corner. A few days before the festivity, you might now be starting to prepare for your annual tradition and other practices you commonly do during this season such as burning incense sticks. However, this practice may have a negative impact on our health according to experts. 

They say burning incense during the new year scares away negative spirits and elements and will make wishes more readily heard. But this ritual may actually elevate dangerous PM2.5. Let’s find out more here. 

Incense Sticks Elevate Hazardous PM2.5

Researchers have examined the level of air pollution released from an incense stick, and it’s not good. These sticks frequently include nag champa, myrrh, and frankincense incense. These incense sticks may have a pleasant aroma, but they may be quite harmful to your health.

Tiny particulate matter (PM2.5) and harmful gases are released during the burning of incense sticks, both of which are hazardous pollutants. Inhaling PM2.5 can cause cancer and heart disease since it can go into our bloodstream and internal organs.

PM2.5Image Source: US Environmental Protection Agency

According to studies, burning incense sticks releases roughly five times as much particulate matter as smoking.

Incense burning causes dangerous amounts of PM2.5 air pollution, which has been determined to be on average over 100 times the Wealth Health Organization (WHO) recommended limit.


PM2.5 Recommended limit

Image Source: Research Gate

Frankincense, myrrh, and nag champa incense are some of the typical types of incense used that cause this air pollution.

Formaldehyde and Benzene from Incense

Additionally, smoking incense can greatly increase the air’s levels of hazardous VOC emissions. Formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, xylene, and TVOC were identified at much higher concentrations in Beijing temples, according to research. The levels of formaldehyde and benzene were higher than the World Health Organization’s suggested limits of 0.05 mg/m3.

The health issues that these contaminants have been connected to include cancer and respiratory issues.

How to Reduce Pollution and Protect Yourself

Health-threatening pollution is produced when frankincense, myrrh, and nag champa incense are burned. The contamination should ideally be stopped at the source. But if you have no other option, how can you defend yourself?

  1. Wearing an N95 mask can help lower the amount of cancer-causing PM2.5 you breathe in by over 95% if you are in a place where incense is burned, such as in temples.

N95 Mask as protection for burning incense stickImage Source: Freepik.com

  1. HEPA air purifiers are quite good at eliminating harmful PM2.5 from the air. Thus, installing a HEPA air purifier in strategic locations where incense sticks are being burned will aid in removing some PM2.5 from the air. This is especially important in temples. Additionally, the air purifier’s ability to eliminate harmful gases like benzene, toluene, and xylene may be improved by adding a carbon filter.

hepa air purifier for protection when burning incense stickFILTRO PURE PRO DF Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter

  1. Improving your indoor ventilation can significantly lower the level of PM2.5 and VOC concentrations. It will mix the contaminated air with clean air. 

Looking for a reliable and highly efficient HEPA air purifier that you can use in temples, industrial locations, or even at home? We can help you get the equipment or device you need that will fit your specific requirements. Get in touch with us.

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