Thursday, August 9, 2007

incense burning increases risk of respiratory cancers

In a presentation by Dr. Jeppe Friborg researching cancers of the respiratory tract in relation to the use of incense it was found that there is a relative risk of 1.7 to 1.8 times the incidence of those that are subjected to constant exposure of burning incense. Some 61,000 Singapore Chinese were entered in a long term study and found squamous cell carcinomas of the lung rose almost 2 fold in this population. The subject group was adjusted for co-founding factors such as cigarette smoking, isothiocyanate intake and alcohol consumption. Asian partake in almost daily incense burning as part of their daily culture. About one-half of Asians burn incense in their homes on a daily basis. Aromatherapy may be good for cleansing the mind, but remember moderation in all things. Incense burning releases particulate matter such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, carbonyls and benzene into the air that is inhailed and acts as a carcinogen on lung tissues.

Source: Dr. Jeppe T. Friborg's poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research at Los Angeles, June 21, 2007

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