Incense smoke is as dangerous as cigarette smoke

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 27, 2015

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Do you love the scent of incense sticks? Probably not once you read this. A new study has warned that burning incense at home can put one at an increased risk of health problems such as cancer because the pleasant smell of incense contains toxic particles that are more toxic than the particles found in cigarettes.

Incense side-effects

Burning incense is a traditional practice, which is also a common practice in several families, most temples in India as well as some parts of Asia. Not only is incense used for religious purposes in the region, but also to ward off unpleasant smell.

When incense is lighted and the burning process has begun, the particle matter gets released into the air.

Lead researcher of the study, Rong Zhou from South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, said, “Clearly, there needs to be greater awareness and management of the health risks associated with burning incense in indoor environments”.

The researchers had assessed health hazards that were associated with the use of incense smoke in home. They later compared the results for the first time with mainstream studies of cigarette smoke.

They also tested incense that were scented with agarwood and sandalwood because these are among the most commonly used ingredients to make the product.

When incense was tested on animals, it showed that incense smoke contained chemical properties that could possibly change the genetic material, such as DNA and thus cause mutations. It was also found to be more cytotoxic and genotoxic compared with cigarette used in the study.

Researchers noted that incense smoke was thus more toxic to cells, especially to the genetic contents of cells.

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Image source: Getty

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