The Cancer Herald

Exposing The Truth To Save Lives

Burning Incense Releases Carcinogens And Can Lead To Cancer According To Several Scientific Studies

Incense may be one of the best ways to cover up smells in a house, especially for smokers who are trying to cover up the smell of whatever they are smoking, whether it be tobacco or marijuana. Also, many people use incense for religious purposes, especially in Asia. However, burning incense releases 64 chemicals including some well-known carcinogens, and 99% of incense smoke consists of fine to ultrafine particulates, so these chemicals are easily absorbed into the lungs. This can lead to detrimental impacts on health long term, including cancer and kidney disease, according to several scientific studies.

A scientific study followed 61,320 Singapore-Chinese who were initially free of cancer, and over the course of 20 years 325 upper respiratory tract carcinomas and 821 lung carcinomas were observed. It was found that long term incense use increased the risk of squamous cell carcinoma in the respiratory tract, with duration and intensity of incense use increasing the risk of cancer. In other words, incense burning has a cumulative carcinogenic effect, meaning that each incense burned increases the risk of cancer.

Further, a study found that burning incense in an enclosed space with poor ventilation increases the risk of cancer development versus an enclosed space with good ventilation.

Another study identified incense burning as a risk factor for tumor development and propagation of non-small cell lung cancer. Yet another study found that Auramine O, a colorant used in incense, dramatically promotes lung cancer malignancy by inducing autophagy activity, migration, and the invasive capabilities of lung tumor cells. In other words, Auramine O enhances the ability of lung cancer to metastasize in the rest of the body.

Finally, a study found that burning incense increases the risk of cancer particularly among those who smoke tobacco. This is notable because many people burn incense to cover up tobacco smell indoors, and are unaware that burning incense enhances the risk of tobacco consumption.

Thus, burning incense releases well-known carcinogens and has been linked to increased rates of cancer, and this risk increases with duration and intensity of incense burning and is correlated with how well-ventilated an enclosed space is. This is essentially common sense, since literally burning anything releases carcinogens, and therefore no one should make a habit of regularly burning any substance in their home.

The risk of cancer is perhaps minute for those who only burn incense once in awhile, but people who burn incense multiple times everyday should realize the danger and cut back on their incense burning. Essentially, the healthiest way to live would be to not burn any incense at all. With carcinogens there is no safe dose, since ingesting carcinogens is like playing russian roulette, meaning that even a small amount of carcinogens being ingested one time could be all it takes to cause cancer.