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Chemical Compounds in Incense Smoke Results Detrimental to Health

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Published on : Aug 27, 2015

According to a recent study in China, there were no specific threats found in the study on the chemical compounds used in incense. However, researchers of the study are watchful about the presence of many chemicals in the product that needs to be invested thoroughly.  

Incense is typically burned because people like how it smells or as a part of religious tradition. 
In GUANGZHOU, China, researchers found out that the smoke from incense consists of chemicals compounds, which are more substantially toxic to cells than cigarette smoke. 

According to the researchers, incense is typically used because of its pleasant scent. Many studies have been conducted on the effects of incense smoke. It contains fine particles and ultrafine that may be detrimental to health. 

In a press release, by a researcher at the South China University of Technology, the world needs greater awareness and management of the health risks related to burning incense in various environments. 

The researchers compared two types of incense, both sandalwood and agarwood which are the most common incense ingredients. The smoke obtained was 99% ultrafine and fine particles, often indicative of something detrimental to health. 

Incense smoke has 64 different compounds with some slightly harmful and the others being highly toxic, said the researchers.    

The effects of the incense smoke where then tested on ovary cells of Chinese hamsters. This caused changing of DNA and mutations. 

The incense compounds are also genotoxic and cytotoxic more than cigarette sample used for the study. 

Although, there has not much research into incense, studies have linked childhood leukemia, lung cancer, and brain tumors to it. The compounds in incense smoke are linked to the development of cancer. 

According to the researcher from South China, incense burning is also used in several other ways apart from cigarettes.